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Armed Forces Covenant

Warning To Stay Safe During Warmer Weather

26/May/2017

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to remind people of the increased risks presented as we experience warmer weather which coincides with a bank holiday and school half term.

The rise of the thermometer signals the start of a national obsession with barbeques, an urge to explore the great outdoors with a campaign trip or two and the enticing opportunity for a quick cool down in a local river, brook or reservoir, but all present a greater risk to safety.  The increased risk of wildfires is also an issue, as moorlands become dryer during the heat.

Station Manager John Cooke said: “Each year we hear of various tragedy’s linked to people simply trying to enjoy the warmer weather.  Getting outdoors is meant to be relaxing, a wind down from the busy lives that we all lead, but it’s essential people don’t let their guard down completely and they take some simple precautionary measures to ensure everyone stays safe.”

Barbecue Safety

  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue.
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Never leave a barbecue unattended.
  • Keep barbecues away from sheds, fences, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Empty hot ashes and coals onto bare earth to cool down – Never place them in a wheelie bin.

 Gas Barbecues

  • Make sure the gas valve is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue control.  This will stop any gas from leaking.
  • Never store gas cylinders under the stairs – if there is a fire they might explode and block your escape route.

Caravan and Camping Safety

  • Ensure caravans and tents are at least six metres apart and away from parked cars – this will reduce the risk of a fire spreading should one occur.
  • Keep a touch handy for emergencies – never use lighted candles.
  • Make sure you know the campsite’s safety arrangements and check where the nearest telephone is.
  • Ensure you have a working smoke alarm fitted in your caravan.

Staying in a tent

  • Never use candles in or near a tent.
  • Never cook inside a small tent.
  • Never take a barbecue into a tent to provide warmth – they produce carbon monoxide which is a silent, deadly killer.
  • Make sure you know how to escape, by cutting your way out of the tent if there is a fire. 

Water Safety

Water may look safe, but it can be VERY dangerous.  Swimming outdoors is completely different to a warm swimming pool.  The dangers include:

  • Very cold temperatures
  • Hidden currents
  • Fast flowing water, beware of locks and weirs
  • Deep water – it can be difficult to estimate the depth
  • Hidden dangers, such as rubbish and debris, this can trap, snag or cut.
  • No lifeguards, most outdoor waterways do not have lifeguards

Station Manager John Cooke said: “On average 40-50 children drown per year in the UK, therefore parents should ensure children know the dangers of swimming in unknown water.    

“Reservoirs, rivers and lakes can look enticing, but can be deadly, with freezing water, hidden debris and undercurrents all adding to the risk.  As the weather warms up, is so easy to be tempted to cool down with a quick dip, but that quick dip could turn into a living nightmare.

“Our advice to anyone wanting to enjoy a swim is to visit your local swimming pool, where trained lifeguards are on hand to deal with any emergencies.”

Taking care of our Moorlands

A stray spark can quickly spread when the moorlands of the Peak National Park are dry.  As more visitors take advantage of the park, the risk of fire increases.  Some simple steps can help protect and safeguard the fragile ecosystem of the Peak District Moors:

  • If you are planning a barbecue, make sure you have the landowner’s permission.
  • Before you light a barbecue, check the ground, if it is dry then be extra careful, don’t let your fire get out of control.
  • Be extra careful with anything that can start a fire like; cigarettes, matches, lighting fuel and even glass.
    • Discarded glass bottles can cause a fire as the sun magnifies through the glass.
    • Always keep water nearby for any emergencies.
    • When leaving the park, take 5 minutes to make sure the barbecue is out and cold.
    • Any don’t forget your litter.

For more information about keeping safe outdoors this summer, please visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk

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