Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging residents to take extra care when out and about this week, with the hottest day in April for 10 years expected and temperatures predicted to reach 26 degrees.
Station Manager, Martin Simmonds, said: “While we want people to make the most of the good weather, we also want people to enjoy it safely.
“We want to encourage our residents to follow our safety advice to help prevent an incident from occurring in the first place. Careful preparation of activities outside and away from the home will go a long way to prevent fires and other emergencies.”
- Always have open fires in safe, designated areas. If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately by calling 999 and asking for the fire service.
- Don’t leave bottles or glass in the woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
- Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as soon as possible and call the fire service.
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows – they could start a fire.
- If you are planning to have a barbecue, make sure you place it well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste. Never use a barbecue indoors or in a tent as this can give off an invisible, odourless, potentially lethal carbon monoxide gas, which could kill you.
- Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues and never leave it unattended. Drinking alcohol while cooking is not recommended.
- After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it. Empty the ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot they could melt the plastic and cause a fire.
Camping and caravanning:
- Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan.
- Make sure the caravan is ventilated and never block air vents, to avoid a build-up of poisonous gases.
- Only use approved lighter fluids and only ever on cold coals.
- Ensure caravans and tents are at least six metres apart from parked cars, to reduce the risk of a fire spreading.
- Keep a torch handy for emergencies – never use lighted candles.
- Don’t cook near flammable materials or long grass, they can set alight easily.
There are also simple steps that you can follow if you encounter someone who has fallen into deep water:
- Call 999 straight away and ask to speak to the fire service and ambulance.
- The emergency services will need to know where you are. If you do not know the specific location look for landmarks or signs – for example bridges will often have numbers on them which can identify the location.
- Never enter the water to try and save someone, even if you are a strong swimmer.
- Shout to the person in the water ‘swim to me’. The water can be disorientating and this can give them a focus.
- Depending on where you are there might be lifebelts or throw bags – use them. If they are attached to rope, make sure you have secured or are holding the end of the rope so you can pull them in.
Next week, as a national water safety campaign (which runs from 23 to 29 April) will get underway, a number of events will take place in an effort to reduce the number of tragic incidents on Royal Berkshire’s waterways. More information about these events and the Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week will be available on our website and social media channels this week.
For more information about staying safe when out and about, please visit www.rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/out-and-about/or alternatively, you can visit your local fire station for more advice.