All fired up for summer? Here’s how to enjoy it safely

As part of a month-long Fire Kills campaign, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding residents to stay safe during summer as they make the most of the weather and enjoy the outdoors.

James Hunt, Watch Based Station Manager, 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. If you’re intending to take out your tent, get your caravan back on the road or simply spend time in the countryside with family and friends, take note of our safety advice.”

By following our top tips, you can ensure that your summer activities are safe and enjoyable. 

Thermometer with red dial pointing to 40 degrees

Barbecues

  • Light your barbecue well away from sheds, fences, trees and shrubs.
  • Set up your barbecue on level ground.
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand, or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Don't leave a lit barbecue unattended.
  • Don't take a barbecue indoors – even when the flames aren’t visible, they can still give off carbon monoxide fumes, which can be deadly.

Wildfires

  • Do not dispose of cigarettes on the ground and always ensure that they have been fully extinguished before throwing them away.
  • Avoid lighting open fires in the countryside.
  • Dispose of your litter responsibly. Glass and other reflective materials can start fires if left in direct sunlight.
  • If you discover a wildfire, do not attempt to tackle it yourself. Move to a safe place, call 999 and tell them the location and size of the fire. 

Water safety

  • Avoid jumping into open water from height, often referred to as 'tombstoning', as this can cause potentially fatal cold water shock, even on the warmest day.
  • If you do wish to go swimming, swimming in a group, or better still at an organised event, is safer.
  • Stay away from the water if you have been drinking. Alcohol affects your ability to react and respond should you find yourself in water.
  • If you're exercising next to open water, look out for trip and slip hazards.
  • If you find yourself in trouble in the water, do not panic, float on your back until the effects of cold water shock pass.
  • If someone else falls into the water, call 999 straight away and ask to speak to the fire service and ambulance. Do not enter the water to try to save someone.

Caravans and Camping

  • Allow at least 6 meter spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
  • Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan.
  • Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
  • Make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents, to avoid a build-up of carbon monoxide.
  • Don’t smoke inside tents.
  • Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
  • Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls and never cook inside a small tent or near flammable materials or long grass; they can all set alight easily.
  • Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed.

For more information about how to stay safe outdoors this summer, please visit our Out and About safety page.