Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is advising residents on how they can stay safe this summer. The guidance is being issued in support of the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) month-long campaign that will run throughout June.
The summer holidays are just around the corner and although hot weather is perfect for having a barbecue, going camping, or just spending a day in the countryside, these activities can also pose potential hazards.
Group Manager, Paul said: “Many of us are well aware of the need for fire safety in the home, but it is important to be just as careful to avoid the risk of fire when you are outside. Many people take advantage of the warm weather as a chance to get out in the countryside, but fires can spread extremely quickly, threatening not only people’s safety, but also farm animals, trees and plants. Many are caused by carelessness, such as a cigarette that has not been properly extinguished or where an open fire suddenly develops and becomes out of control.
“While we want everyone to enjoy the warm weather, we are urging people to still remain vigilant. Following the simple advice can ensure that you and your loved ones are kept safe this summer.”
Follow these simple tips:
- Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.
- Make sure your barbecue is well away from houses, sheds, fences, trees etc.
- Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
- Use only approved lighter fuels – never petrol or paraffin – and use only on cold coals. Easy lighting charcoal that are contained in lightable paper bags are easy to use and no BBQ lighting fuel is required.
- After cooking, make sure the barbecue is fully extinguished and cold before disposing of the contents. In particular, never empty hot ashes into dustbins or wheelie bins - they can melt the plastic and start a fire.
- Always extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly. Never throw lit cigarette ends out of car windows – they can destroy whole fields of crops.
- Don’t leave bottles or glass lying around - sunlight shining through glass can start a fire.
- Look out for information at the location you are at with regard to advice on conditions, such as warnings of low rainfall and dry or drought conditions resulting in a higher risk of fire.
- Report any fire no matter how small it is as this can quickly develop without fast intervention.
Camping and caravanning
- Always site tents and caravans at least six metres apart and away from parked cars.
- Don’t smoke or use candles inside tents.
- Never bring any type of barbecue (i.e. disposable or reusable) into your tent or caravan. Even when the flames aren’t visible, they can still give off carbon monoxide (CO) fumes for some time, which can be deadly.
- Fit and maintain a smoke alarm and a CO alarm in your caravan.
- Pay particular attention to the fire safety guidance provided by the festival organiser. If in any doubt, ask the on-site staff
For more information about how to stay safe outdoors, please visit rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/warm-weather-advice.