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Safe and Responsible Outdoor Fire Use: Rules in the UK

by Ryan Johnson 27 Mar 2024

Volcann bonfire containment ring

Enjoying a crackling outdoor fire can be a wonderful experience, whether it's a cozy campfire, a barbecue, or a bonfire. However, it's essential to be aware of the rules and regulations governing outdoor fire use in the United Kingdom. Understanding these guidelines helps ensure not only your safety but also the protection of the environment. In this blog, we'll explore the rules for using fire outdoors in the UK.

1. Follow Local Bylaws and Regulations

Different areas in the UK may have specific bylaws and regulations regarding outdoor fires. It's crucial to research and adhere to the rules established by your local authorities. Contact your local council or fire service for information on any restrictions or permits required.


2. Fire Safety Essentials

Safety should always be a top priority when using fire outdoors. Here are some essential safety measures to follow:

  • Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby to extinguish the fire if needed.
  • Use suitable fire containers or designated fire pits to contain the flames.
  • Ensure the fire is well away from flammable materials such as dry grass, leaves, or overhanging branches.
  • Never leave a fire unattended, and keep a close eye on it at all times.
  • Avoid using accelerants like petrol to start or revive a fire.

Volcann BBQ cooking a selection of food

3. Barbecues and Grills

When using barbecues or grills outdoors, take the following precautions:

  • Place the barbecue on stable ground and away from any structures or overhanging foliage.
  • Use only approved fuels, and never use a barbecue indoors or in a poorly ventilated area.
  • After use, make sure the fire is fully extinguished and cool to the touch before disposing of ashes.

Unattended bonfire

4. Bonfires

If you're planning a bonfire, consider the following:

  • Check with your local council if you need permission for a bonfire.
  • Keep bonfires small and manageable, ensuring they are away from buildings and property boundaries.
  • Do not burn hazardous materials, such as plastics, rubber, or treated wood.
  • Monitor the fire until it's completely extinguished.

5. Wildfires

During dry and hot conditions, the risk of wildfires increases. To prevent wildfires:

  • Avoid dropping cigarette butts or matches in dry grass or wooded areas.
  • Be cautious with campfires and ensure they are fully extinguished.
  • Comply with any fire bans or restrictions imposed during periods of high fire risk.

wildfire in forest

By following these rules and guidelines for using fire outdoors in the UK, you can enjoy the beauty of open flames while ensuring the safety of yourself, your property, and the environment. Responsible fire use not only protects our natural surroundings but also contributes to the enjoyment of outdoor activities for generations to come.

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