Stay Safe this Summer

Published 1st May 2024

With the weather hopefully getting warmer soon we will all want to make the most of the great outdoors whether that’s a trip to one of our National Parks, meeting friends outside or visiting lakes, rivers or the coast.

Every year fire and rescue services respond to fires in the countryside that could easily have been prevented. These fires can tie up fire crews for hours, or sometimes days, and cause damage to wildlife habitats. We’re asking you to help us this summer by following our advice to protect yourselves and our beautiful countryside.

If you’re visiting the countryside please stick to paths, leave gates and property as you find them, take your litter home especially glass bottles/jars, dispose of smoking materials carefully and never have campfires or barbecues on dry grass land.

Please also park responsibly and make sure a fire engine or ambulance would be able to pass. If you spot a fire in the countryside always dial 999 and ask for the fire service. Think about downloading What3Words so you can easily provide a location if you need to contact the emergency services.

If you’re staying closer to home and having a barbecue in the garden make sure you keep it away from hedges, fences, sheds and anything else that can catch fire. Wait until the embers are fully cold before placing them in a bin.

We know that on warmer days open water can look a tempting place to cool off, but it is full of hidden dangers. Hidden objects, vegetation and the coldness of the water can all impact your ability to swim safely back to shore.

Our water safety advice is:

  • Don’t drink alcohol if you’re planning any water related activities. Alcohol impairs judgement and your ability to swim
  • Don’t dive or jump straight into open water, this can cause potentially fatal cold-water shock even on the warmest day
  • Supervise children in and around water -drowning can happen fast and silently
  • If you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, don’t panic, extend your arms and legs out and float on your back until the effects of cold-water shock pass. Find out more on the RNLI website
  • Before entering any water know where the nearest safety equipment is located. Many areas now have safety equipment nearby in case of emergencies.
  • Always look for information notices near open water, that advises you of potential hazards
  • If you see someone in trouble in the water, don’t enter the water yourself, call 999 and ask for the fire service if inland and the Coastguard if you are at the coast. Tell the person to float on their back and look around and see if there’s any rescue equipment near-by that you can throw to the person.

2022 – 2023 statistics from the Water Incident Database reveal 40% of people who accidentally drowned had no intention of entering the water. Slips, trips and falls were often the cause of these accidents, so please also take care if you walk or run near open water, especially if it’s been raining as this can make bank sides extra slippery.

If you’re going out for drinks plan a route home that doesn’t involve passing near open water, look out for your friends and don’t encourage anyone to jump into rivers/water on a night out.