East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to refrain from garden bonfires over the Easter Weekend and beyond.
As the bank holiday weekend approaches we would strongly urge residents to refrain from having garden bonfires.
It is important to appreciate during this time that neighbours and more vulnerable members of our community are self-isolating and want to get fresh air into their homes.
It is also important for the community to stop garden bonfires at this time, due to the increased fire risk that this creates, as well as the impact on others.
Station Manager Craig Williams said:
“With large numbers of residents remaining inside their homes self-isolating it is important that we can all get clean fresh air into our homes.
“We are also concerned for the more vulnerable members of our communities who are self-isolating at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Additionally, garden fires cause both a nuisance to neighbours and other members of the public and we would urge residents to be considerate, as residents are urged to stay at home and only leave for very limited reasons.”
Whilst there are no laws against having a bonfire, there are laws for the nuisance they can cause.
An increase in garden bonfires is believed to be a result of the closure of household waste recycling centres, until further notice, caused by the current challenges with Covid-19.
Social distancing measures, put in place by the Government, mean that visits to these household waste recycling sites do not fall within the reasons for leaving your home.
Household waste should not be burned at all; if you do, you might be committing an offence and could face prosecution. Further guidance can be accessed by clicking on the following link.
There are concerns that members of the public are increasingly burning waste materials, which they would otherwise have taken to the tip, or recycle, which is illegal to do so.
Concerns have also been raised with the Service about the increase in the fly-tipping of waste, which is a chargeable offence.
The Service would urge anyone who sees this practice to contact the local authority to report this immediately.
This warning comes as there are growing concerns that fly-tipping could result in an increase in arson.
Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping on a site that is not licensed to accept waste. The waste may include general household rubbish, larger household items, such as mattresses and fridges, garden refuse or commercial waste. It is an offence that can lead to a fine or imprisonment.