Safety advice for Queen's Diamond Jubilee Beacon events
Beacon lighting has been used over many hundreds of years in Britain to mark Royal Weddings, Jubilees and Coronations, and this year's Beacon event was announced by Buckingham Palace as part of the Central Weekend of activities (2 – 5 June) to celebrate the Queen's 60 years on the throne.
Numerous beacon events have been planned across Herefordshire and Worcestershire on 4 June at a range of locations (farms, churches, village halls, pubs, local landmarks etc), with many different organisations (scout groups, residents associations, community groups etc) registering their events.
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) wants everyone to enjoy their Beacon event in safety, and is encouraging all participants to check the safety advice available on the event website at www.diamondjubileebeacons.co.uk , particularly the section on using propane gas cylinders.
Station Commander Chris White from HWFRS said: "We're keen to make people aware in advance that these Beacon events are taking place to avoid any unnecessary alarm as the beacons light up the skies on Bank Holiday Monday."
He explained that all events had to be registered in advance, and that beacons would only be lit between 10pm and 10.30pm on the Monday evening (4 June).
He added: "Lighting fires outside can be hazardous and we'd urge anyone that hasn't registered a Beacon event in advance not to be tempted to join in on the night.
"Without proper care, fires outdoors can easily get out of control and we'd urge everyone to be sensible to avoid the risk of damage to the countryside and wildlife."
The Fire Service recommends:
- Avoid fires in the countryside. Always have them in safe designated areas.
- Take extra care during prolonged dry spells, as grass, undergrowth and brambles will all catch light more easily
- Be aware that breezy conditions present an extra hazard.
- Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area, well away from any buildings or vehicles. Never leave a barbecue unattended and ensure it is fully extinguished after use.
- Never use an accelerant, such as petrol to start a fire or barbecue. Use only approved lighting fuels.
- Clear dry vegetation, such as leaves, to form a circle of earth around the fire.
- If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately to the Fire Service. Early detection can prevent it from developing into a large wildfire incident.