Stay Safe Outdoors this Summer

This June, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people across Berkshire to stay safe as they make the most of the weather and enjoy the great outdoors, whether camping, cooking or exploring.

Nicola Smith, Prevention Manager, said: “Whilst we’re hoping for a long hot summer, we know that good weather can bring risks.  If you’re going out with your tent, readying your rucksack or heading to the beach, you should be aware of some of the risks that you might face.

“By following this fire safety guide, you can ensure that your summer outdoors is a safe and enjoyable one.”

Tents

  • Allow at least six metres of spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
  • 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.
  • Make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there’s a fire.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire – stop, drop and roll.

Caravans

  • Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan.
  • Take special care when cooking – don’t leave pans unattended.
  • Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed.
  • Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can’t burn or and position them securely so they can’t topple over – never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t dry clothes over the stove.
  • 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.

Open Fires

If you must have an open fire:

  • It should be downwind, at least 10 metres from the tent.
  • Clear dry vegetation, such as leaves and twigs and form a circle of earth around the fire.
  • Build a stack that will collapse inwards whilst burning.
  • Do not leave fires unattended.
  • Make sure that fires are fully extinguished after use.

If a fire should breakout:

  • Call the local fire and rescue service and give the exact location.
  • If necessary give a map reference.
  • If this is not possible a landmark such as a farm or pub. This will help them locate you.

Grass and forest fires spread rapidly

  • Never throw cigarette ends out of a car window – they could start a fire and ruin surrounding countryside.
  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands.   Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.

If you discover a fire

  • Do not be tempted to investigate.
  • Leave the area as quickly as possible and call 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service.
  • Do not return unless the fire and rescue service tells you that it is safe to do so.

For more information on fire safety, please visit the our Warm Weather Advice Page.