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Amber Heat-Health Alert Issued Across the South East – Stay Safe in the Sun

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging people to be cautious and take extra care over the upcoming days as temperatures are predicted to exceed 30°C across parts of England. Severe heat can cause emergency risks which can be prevented with our advice.

Martyn Doolin, Group Manager for RBFRS, said: “The Met Office and UK Health Security Agency issued an Amber Heat-Health Alert this week that covers several regions of England, including across Berkshire in the South East. Due to this forecast, RBFRS are encouraging everyone to look after themselves and their loved ones so we can reduce the number of emergency incidents caused by high temperatures.

“Hotter weather is an ideal time for barbecues, but please take care as the dry ground can cause fires to spread rapidly. Likewise, if you plan on going swimming, we ask that you remember to be water aware and swim in areas with designated lifeguards”.

For the full details of the weather warning, please see the Met Office’s website.

Outdoor Fire Safety:

  • Do not leave glass bottles lying on the ground – the sunlight shining through can start fires. Dispose of your litter responsibly.
  • Carefully extinguish cigarettes and dispose of them properly – do not throw the ends on the ground.
  • Please think twice about having a bonfire. But if you are going to have one, only light them in designated areas, have buckets of water available, and never leave them unattended.
  • If you see a fire in the open countryside, immediately call 999 and ask for the fire service.

For more outdoor fire safety, see our wildfires webpage.

Barbecue Safety:

  • Please take care if you plan on having a barbecue. Only light them in designated areas and keep them well away from sheds, fences, trees, and shrubs.
  • Never leave barbecues unattended.
  • Keep buckets of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergency.
  • 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.

For more guidance, read our barbecue safety advice.

Water Safety:

  • Be very careful around open waters, cold water shock can be life threatening and underwater currents could pull you under.
  • If you find yourself in trouble in the water, float to live – Do not panic, float on your back until the effects of cold water shock pass. When the cold water shock has passed, swim to the edge or call for help.
  • If someone else falls into the water, immediately call 999 and ask for the fire service and ambulance – Never enter the water to save them. Keep shouting “swim to me” to support their sense of direction and orientation, and use lifebelts or throw bags if there are any nearby (making sure you are securely holding the end of the rope so you can pull them in).
  • 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.

Read more about water safety here.

For even more safety guidance, read our warm weather advice webpage to protect yourselves and prevent emergencies.