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Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service issues top tips for Reading Festival goers

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging festival goers to take note of some important safety advice before attending Reading Festival this August (26-28 August).

Gail Muirhead, West Hub Prevention Manager, said: “Whilst we want you to have a great time and enjoy Reading Festival, we also want to remind you of some safety advice that could make all the difference to your festival experience”.

“A fire can destroy a tent in less than 60 seconds, so it is vital that you keep naked flames well away from your tent at all times. To keep safe, cook a safe distance from your tent, do not smoke inside your tent and do not take candles inside your tent.

“We understand that you might want to enjoy a drink at the festival too, but please take extra care under the influence of alcohol. Stay away from open water 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:


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

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 if it comes into contact with grass.


Due to the current dry conditions, we recommend that disposable barbecues are not used at this time, but if you do use one:

  • Set it up on a hard, flat surface on level ground, and don’t leave it unattended. 
  • Use only approved lighter fluids and only ever on cold coals. 
  • Make sure it is cooled down after use and disposed of safely and considerately.
  • Never take a barbecue into a tent. Even when their flames are not visible, barbecues 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 and cold water shock can kill.

As Reading Festival is close to the River Thames, RBFRS is 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.