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Enjoy the Great Outdoors Safely This Summer

Summer is now upon us and people are likely to make the most of the long evenings and warm weather by spending more time outdoors.

But whether that’s exploring the countryside or enjoying a barbecue in the garden, it’s important to remember summer fun has a serious side.

Station Manager Nic Lacey said: “A long hot summer is what we hope for. However, like many changes in activity, it can bring risks. If you’re intending to take out your tent, ready your rucksack or get your caravan back on the road, you should go armed with some safety advice before heading for the great outdoors.”

As part of the Fire Kills campaign, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to remind everyone to take extra care and to follow our tips to ensure that your great adventure is a safe and enjoyable one.

Water Safety

No matter how warm it is, resist the urge to swim or jump into open water such as quarries, lakes, reservoirs, and rivers.     

  • 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.
  • Float to Live – if you do find yourself in difficulty in the water, float to live. If you can’t swim to safety, float on your back with your arms and legs out like a star and shout for help.
  • Never enter the water to help someone else in difficulty. Call 999 immediately.

Moorland/Countryside Safety

  • Do not take BBQs into the open countryside/moorlands. Public Space Protection Orders ban their use in many areas.
  • Take all rubbish home - never leave glass bottles laying around. The sun can reflect through the glass and quickly start a fire.
  • Ensure cigarettes are extinguished and disposed of responsibly. Never throw ends out of a car window – they could start a fire and ruin surrounding countryside.

If a fire should breakout:

  • Call 999 and ask for the fire service
  • Give the exact location and if necessary a map reference.
  • If this is not possible a landmark such as a farm or pub etc, will help them locate you.

If you discover a fire:

  • Do not be tempted to investigate.
  • Leave the area as quickly as possible and call 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service.
  • Do not return unless the fire and rescue service tells you that it is safe to do so.


  • Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Don’t smoke inside tents.
  • Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
  • Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls and never cook inside a small tent or near flammable materials or long grass; they can all set alight easily.
  • Make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there’s a fire.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire – stop, drop and roll.


  • 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 and position them securely so they can’t 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 carbon monoxide.

Deliberate Fires

Deliberate fires destroy communities. Be a FireStopper.

If you see someone deliberately setting a fire or, using barbecues or other naked flames outside of approved areas like a campsite, then tell us what you know 100% anonymously. Call 0800 169 5558 or visit

Station Manager Lacey added: “It may all sound a bit daunting, but it needn’t be, most of this advice is common sense. From time to time we all need reminders; so, enjoy the countryside and your recreation and be safe.”

For more information on keeping safe outdoors, visit: