Be careful whilst using garden incinerators

Over the coming weeks and months, many of us will be busy giving our homes a spring clean and sprucing up our gardens in preparation for the wonderful Welsh summer!! 

Whilst having an uncluttered home and a tidy garden is a pleasing outcome, disposing of the waste can often be a chore that many people might prefer to tackle by burning their waste, using a garden incinerator. 

Think twice about burning waste

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public to think twice about the necessity of burning their waste and, instead, to dispose of their rubbish responsibly at local authority waste disposal sites. 

On Friday, 16th April 2021, crews from Morriston and Swansea Central were called to a fire at a property in Landore, Swansea. 

The fire had originated from a garden incinerator which was placed and lit near a petrol strimmer, a petrol can and the external kitchen wall of the property. The heat, produced from the incinerator, caused the fuel within the petrol can to expand and led to the fuel leaking through the cap and exploding. 

Six people were trapped in the back of the garden by the fire but, thankfully, none were hurt. The fascia and guttering to the rear of the property had been damaged and the strimmer and garden ornaments had melted. 

The fire was extinguished before the arrival of the Fire Service and the crews were involved in making the scene safe. 

It is by pure luck that nobody was harmed 

Station Manager Richie Vaughan Williams said “It is by pure luck that nobody was harmed during this incident. 

Garden incinerators can be found at many shops; they are cheap to buy and often come with no safety advice. Many people don’t realise that a lit incinerator will heat the ground it is placed upon and can set a fence or a shed alight if it is placed near these combustible objects. 

Garden incinerators have also been known to crack in half due to the heat generated from them. 

I would urge everyone to carefully consider if it is necessary to burn their rubbish and instead to utilise their local authority’s waste disposal services.”

Key Safety Advice

If it is essential to burn your rubbish and garden waste in a bonfire, then please follow these simple rules that are advocated by the National Fire Chiefs Council:

  • Firstly, is it necessary?
  • If it is necessary, then bonfires should be sited well away from buildings, fences, trees and
  • garden buildings and structures.
  • If possible, the burning of garden rubbish should take place within a garden incinerator. The garden incinerator should be placed on an even and non-combustible surface, such as a patio slab.
  • DO NOT use flammable liquids or accelerants to start the bonfire.
  • The bonfire should always be supervised.
  • A means to control the bonfire should be at hand e.g. a garden hose.
  • Always check local laws/bylaws to check you comply.
  • In the event of an emergency, you should always call 999.