Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging residents to take extra care this bank holiday weekend, with temperatures reported to reach a high of 24C.
As the prolonged period of warm dry weather set to continue during the Spring Bank Holiday weekend and into the school half-term holidays, RBFRS is encouraging everyone to do their bit to prevent wildfires and stay safe around open water.
- 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.
For more information about staying safe when out and about, please visit www.rbfrs.co.uk/summersafety.