Posted: Thursday 24 August 2023, 16:58
Despite a mixed forecast of sunshine and showers for the upcoming bank holiday, many people will still be heading off for a final summer staycation or a day trip in the car with family and friends.
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) would therefore like to remind people to take extra care and follow our top tips for staying safe no matter their plans for the long weekend.
Whatever your mode of transport this bank holiday, stay safe and drive to arrive.
In 2021/22, we attended 560 road traffic collisions in which 11 people were killed and 81 were seriously injured.
- Speed kills – slow down, watch your speed and ensure you arrive safely at your destination.
- Switch mobile phones off and place them in a bag or glovebox before your journey begins.
- Never be tempted to get behind the wheel if you’ve had drink or drugs! Walk home or book a taxi instead.
In 2021, there were 277 accidental drowning fatalities in the UK, 161 of which were inland and 108 coastal.
DFRS would like to remind everyone of the following water safety advice:
- Cold water shock can cause muscle cramps and breathing difficulties and quickly lead to drowning.
- Hidden debris and rocks can cause you to get trapped.
- If you see someone in difficulty, call 999 immediately or 112 for the coastguard.
- Never jump in the water yourself – often the rescuer becomes the casualty.
Float to Live - If you do find yourself in difficulty in the water, remember float to live.
- If you can’t swim to safety, try to resist the urge to panic. Lay on your back, float with your arms and legs out like a star, calm your breathing and shout for help.
Camping and Caravan Safety
- Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
- Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
- Keep cooking appliances away from tent walls and never cook inside a small tent or near flammable materials or long grass; they can all set alight easily.
- In the event of a fire, make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out.
- Make sure everyone knows what to do if clothing catches fire – stop, drop and roll.
- Don’t smoke inside tents.
- Never bring a BBQ inside your tent – carbon monoxide builds up and can kill.
- Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan.
- Take special care when cooking – don’t leave pans unattended.
- Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed.
- Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can’t burn or topple over –never smoke in bed.
- Don’t dry clothes over the stove.
- Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
- Make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents, to avoid a build-up of poisonous gases.
- Never bring a BBQ inside your caravan – carbon monoxide builds up and can kill.
- Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, shrubs or garden waste.
- Only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue.
- Ensure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
- Empty the ashes onto bare garden soil and not into wheelie bins as burning embers could cause a fire.
- Don't drink if you are in charge of the barbecue.
- Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on cold coals.
During 2021/22, our firefighters attended 1,305 fires in the open.
- Do not take BBQs into the open countryside/moorlands. Public Space Protection Orders ban their use in many areas.
- Take rubbish home or dispose of it responsibly.
- Ensure cigarettes are extinguished and disposed of responsibly.
Prevention Station Manager Nic Lacey said: “The bank holiday is upon us and with this comes an increased risk of an emergency occurring, as more people venture onto our roads and into the outdoors to make the most of what is left of the summer.
“I’d therefore ask everyone to take a minute and read through our top tips for staying safe this weekend, no matter how you will be enjoying yourselves.”