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Reading Festival – Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s top safety tips for festival-goers

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging festival-goers to be aware of some important safety advice before attending Reading Festival this bank holiday weekend.

David Grayson, Watch Based Station Manager, said: “Whilst we want you to have a great time and enjoy the festival this weekend, we also want to remind you of some vital safety advice that could make all the difference to your festival experience. Remember, a fire can destroy a tent in under 60 seconds, so please take note of these precautions if you’re camping this weekend: cook a safe distance from your tent, do not smoke in your tent and do not use candles in your tent. 

“We understand that you might want to enjoy a drink at the festival too, but please act responsibly. Stay away from open water under the influence of alcohol, and do not be tempted to cook or handle naked flames. Alcohol slows your ability to react and respond in an emergency.” 

If you are attending the Reading Festival this year, here are some steps you can take to ensure that you can have fun and stay safe at the same time: 

Candles, Cooking and Cigarettes 

  • Do not use candles in or near a tent – use a torch instead. 
  • Do not smoke inside a tent. 
  • Cook outside, a safe distance away from your tent or any other flammable materials. 


  • Do not leave glass bottles lying around the camping area – sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. 
  • If you smoke, please ensure that your cigarette is fully extinguished and do not throw cigarette ends on the ground. A lit cigarette could spark a fire when it comes into contact with grass. 


  • Set up your BBQ on level ground, and do not leave it unattended.   
  • Use only approved lighter fluids and only ever on cold coals.  
  • Never take a BBQ into a tent. Even when their flames are not visible, BBQs produce large amounts of deadly carbon monoxide fumes. 


  • Do not be tempted to cook or handle naked flames if you are under the influence of alcohol. 
  • Stay away from the waterside to avoid falling in. Alcohol makes swimming very difficult.  

Be Prepared

  • Have an escape plan, and be prepared to cut your way out of your tent if there is a fire. 
  • Pay particular attention to the fire safety guidance provided by the festival organiser. If in any doubt, ask the on-site staff.  

As Reading Festival is close to the River Thames, we’re also encouraging festival-goers to familiarise themselves with the float to live advice. If you find yourself in trouble in the water, try not to panic and thrash about. Lean back and extend out your arms and legs to float. Float until you can control your breathing and swim to safety or call for help.  

If you find someone else in trouble in the water, never enter the water to try to rescue them yourself. Call 999 immediately and ask for the fire and rescue service. 

To keep up to date with our advice, follow us on Twitter, where we will be sharing more top tips throughout the weekend.