Warning after man suffers injuries in chiminea fire

A warning has been issued by the fire service after a man suffered injuries when his chiminea caught alight.

Monday, 21st May 2018, 3:26 pm
Updated Monday, 21st May 2018, 3:31 pm
The incident happened on Sunday (May 20).

The incident, which happened in Leadale, Preston, on Sunday (May 20) at 1:51pm, saw a man use petrol to re-light a chiminea.

And although the fire was out, the heat from the cast iron in the chiminea caused the petrol to ignite.

Fortunately, the injuries sustained were not life changing - although the man spent the night in hospital.

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The serious nature of this incident has prompted the fire service to issue warnings to the public not to be complacent about barbecue and chiminea fire safety.

Head of Service Development for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Area Manager Ben Norman, said:

“It’s understandable that people can’t wait to get outside, light the barbecue and enjoy the warmer weather with family and friends and we know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals or dying fires a helping hand, but please be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job.

“There have been numerous occasions where people have used petrol and other flammable liquids in an effort to get things moving quicker and the reaction has, not surprisingly, been violent and dangerous and in some instances resulted in severe injuries.

“Chimineas on the whole are very safe as they enclose the majority of the flame, however people need to realise that the heat and flames from burning wood can still be dangerous if they are used incorrectly.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service's top tips for chiminea, and barbecue, safety include:

1. Have a safe set up – avoid placing your chiminea on decking or near trees and structures. Ensure also that it is stable and secure on its stand so as to minimise the risk of it toppling over.

2. Never use chemicals such as petrol to start your fire, instead use kindling to create small fire and then slowly add the larger wood.

3. Ensure your chiminea has a fire guard, if it did not come with one, you can easily make one yourself using mesh wire. The guard will then prevent any hot embers escaping and possibly burning someone.

4. Watch it burn – never leave a fire unattended, whether it is a barbecue or in a chiminea

Ben added: “This may seem like a long list of do’s and don’ts and many of them may sound like common sense but we would ask people to remain vigilant when using barbecues or chimineas because fires can easily take you by surprise when you get complacent.”