Communities urged to stay safe during hot weather spell
We are urging communities in Staffordshire to enjoy the warm weather safely as the risk of accidental fires heightens.
Temperatures are expected to reach 30 degrees over the next few days and will likely see more people heading out to enjoy the sunshine and socialise with friends and family.
Whilst we want people to enjoy this summer period and make the most of it, we are urging people to consider the risks involved with accidental fires over this period and the potential challenges it may cause for firefighters across the county.
Open water might seem inviting, particularly if people are looking to cool off. However, there are many hidden dangers, meaning even the strongest swimmers can get into difficulties, with a serious risk of cold water shock and drowning.
Dangers can include open water being deeper, colder and more dangerous than it looks. Even the strongest swimmers can get into difficulties, with a serious risk of cold water shock and drowning.
If you see another person in trouble in the water, do not enter the water yourself – call 999 and ask for the fire service. Give an exact location of where you are, look for signs or landmarks or use the What Three Words app.
And its not just the dangers around open water communities should be aware of when it comes to staying safe in hot weather as Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Michelle Hickmott, explains: “The hot weather that is forecast for the coming days means that we all need to take extra care.
“Disposable barbecues are also a serious concern for fire crews as if they are left unattended or not disposed of safely they could result in a wildfire, especially when grass is tinder dry.
“More people may look to gather for a barbeque and take to the outdoors, but this increases the risk of grass fires and wildfires can spread rapidly in the current weather conditions.
“Although anything that is burning can start a grass fire, common causes include carelessly discarded cigarettes or matches and rubbish left lying around such as glass bottles in direct sunlight.
“To reduce the risk of fire, make sure your rubbish is safely thrown away and cigarettes are properly disposed of. Cigarettes not put out thoroughly can also start fires, as can sunlight shining through a discarded glass bottle – something many people don’t realise, so please dispose of them correctly.
“Please keep an eye out for vulnerable neighbours and family members, and make sure you keep hydrated. If you need to travel, ensure you take water with you.
“Take the time to talk to your children about water safety so that they understand the risks, look out for their friends and know what to do in an emergency. There is a range of helpful resources on our website.
“We want people to enjoy the sunshine, but urge everyone to be aware of the risks to stay as safe as possible.”
For more information on how you can stay safe outdoors, visit our website: Safety outside (staffordshirefire.gov.uk)