Experts issue garden furniture warnings ahead of heatwave – and how to avoid garden fires

It pays to ensure your safety when lounging around outside this summer

Seating area in the garden surrounded by trees and flowerbeds with white and green hydrangeas
(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Ahead of the heatwave predicted to hit the UK, experts highlight garden furniture fire risks and share their top tips on keeping your garden furniture and yourself safe in your own garden.

Investing in the best garden furniture for your outdoor space not only serves a visual purpose but of course, is practical above everything. As the sun finally decides to make an appearance this week, teasing the onset of summer, it's safe to say that our outdoor living room ideas will finally be seeing us more frequently –  therefore, it pays to be clued up on how to ensure your safety when lounging outside.

Grey rattan garden furniture seating area with outdoor colourful, patterned cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Fiona (Bowen) Walker-Arnott)

Garden furniture warning – and 5 tips to avoid garden fires this summer

During last year's heatwave (which I'm sure many of us remember all too well), there was a staggering 28 per cent increase in reports of garden furniture set on fire in 2022, with 185,437 incidents reported according to GOV UK.

As temperatures are predicted to soar this summer once again, UK furniture component expert, GB Foam, and gardening expert, Calum Maddock at share their top tips on how to ensure your garden furniture stays risk-free of any potential fire hazards.

Seating area in the garden surrounded by trees and flowerbeds with white and green hydrangeas

(Image credit: Future PLC/James Merrell)

1. Check for fire safety labels on furniture

Before buying any garden furniture, make sure to look for fire safety labels that indicate legal compliance with UK standards. If you're uncertain, consult your furniture supplier for clarification.

Neutral coloured garden sofa on balcony terrace area

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mary Wadsworth)

2. Keep garden furniture away from flammable materials

When curating your garden furniture ideas, it's important to consider your placement of everything. Keep your furniture away from any potentially flammable materials.

Calum Maddock at warns: 'This can include things like paper, dry leaves, and plants. Keep your furniture a safe distance away from anything that is potentially flammable to minimise the risk of accidental fires.'

Two deckchairs with colourful cushions on decking by the white wooden clad house with pots of plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/Maxwell Attenborough)

3. Remove glass tops from furniture in extreme heat

If your garden seating ideas include a table with a glass top as a focal point (especially in any outdoor kitchen ideas), be sure to remove it if you know that it's going to be a particularly hot day.

This is because glass can intensify heat in direct sunlight, potentially leading to melting or burning.

Decking with white outdoor sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC)

4. Avoid having open flames near your furniture

Although the best BBQs and fire pits are a notable addition to spruce up any outdoor space and give it that 'wow' factor – especially if you're looking to entertain guests this summer – make sure your furniture is at a safe distance from any open flames and that they're never left unattended.

Always keep an appropriate fire extinguishing source at hand.

Wooden garden seating around stone fire pit with outdoor cushions and blanket

(Image credit: Future PLC)

5. Source replacement cushion filling responsibly

Most garden furniture seating will typically have outdoor cushions that come with the set. It's natural that they may grow tired after some wear and tear, but don't opt for just any regular filling.

'If replacing the filling for your outdoor cushions, ensure the materials are obtained from a reputable supplier. Fillings should comply with relevant fire safety standards to help reduce the risk of ignition and improve the overall safety of your outdoor space,' explains an expert at GB Foam.

Decking with large open glass doors

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Commenting on the garden furniture fire risk, a spokesperson at GB Foam says: 'We're determined to help improve furniture fire safety in any way we can. Overall, the UK maintains a high standard when it comes to furniture, but unfortunately, some lesser quality pieces can still slip through.'

'In addition, many people also choose to make their own furniture by recycling wooden pallets, which can be a cost-effective way to furnish your garden but may pose unexpected fire risks. Proper safety practices, combined with sourcing the right furniture materials can help to mitigate these risks.'

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.