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Firefighters issue safety reminder ahead of weekend heatwave

With high temperatures predicted for the weekend, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is calling for people to stay safe and prevent emergencies as temperatures soar.  

Many people may be turning to having a barbecue at home or even consider venturing out into the Derbyshire countryside in a bid to enjoy the warm weather. Firefighters are therefore reissuing a warning not to take barbecues into open spaces including the Peak District National Park.  

Prolonged periods of dry weather mean that not only is the Peak tinder dry but gardens are too and a single spark could escalate in a matter of seconds.  

Alongside fire safety, we know people may be looking to open water as a way to cool down. However, this also comes with many risks so we’d like to remind people of the dangers of open water and our Float to Live message should they get into difficulty.  

Prevention Station Manager Nic Lacey said: “With a warning in place for high temperatures this weekend, we want people to take extra care whether they are at home, out and about, or on our roads.  

“I would therefore encourage everyone to take a few minutes to read our tips below to ensure they stay safe not matter how they plan to enjoy the warm weather.” 

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. 

In July 2021, Thando Ndlovu drowned in the River Trent while swimming with friends near Swarkestone Bridge. 

DFRS recently worked with the 15-year-old's parents to produce a video titled 'Thando's Story'. The film aims to raise awareness of the dangers of jumping or swimming in any open water, something that may seem enticing during the hot weather, but can have catastrophic consequences. 

You can watch 'Thando's Story' here

Moorland/Countryside Safety 

With tinder dry vegetation a discarded cigarette, glass bottle or portable barbeque can soon cause a grass or moorland fire that could take firefighters days to tackle. 

  • 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. 

Garden Fire/Controlled Burns 

Avoid having a garden fire during the current dry spell. 

Fires can spread rapidly over tinder dry grass, to overhanging trees and shrubs and spread to fencing, shed and even the home. 

For more information about keeping safe outdoors, visit