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Fire Service issues safety tips as temperature is set to soar

With temperatures heating up in Cambridgeshire this week, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) would like to remind residents of important outdoor fire safety and water safety advice.

Head of Fire Prevention for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Group Commander Ed Miller said:

“We tend to see an increase in calls to fires during spells of hot weather. This does result in our crews spending significant time at incidents that could be avoided.

“We know people will be wanting to make the most of the warm weather, and we really want to encourage people do this safely and help prevent incidents that could easily be avoided with a few simple tips.

“High temperatures and dry areas of land can be perfect conditions for a fire to spread rapidly. Something as simple as not stubbing a cigarette out properly, using a disposable barbecue on grass, or even leaving glass bottles exposed to bright sunlight can start a fire that can develop quickly.

“We ask that people avoid lighting bonfires and garden fires this time of year. They can quickly get out of hand and spread to nearby buildings, fences and vegetation, which can cause significant damage and put people at risk.

“We’d also ask parents to speak to their children about the dangers of starting fires, and the serious consequences they can have.”

There are simple steps we urge residents to take to help prevent an outdoor fire:

  • Ensure cigarettes are completely out before disposing of them. Do not throw cigarettes out of car windows onto grass verges or vegetation.
  • Keep BBQs well away from buildings, fencing and vegetation. Put disposable BBQs on bricks, do not place them directly on grass. Ensure any BBQs are completely cool before disposing of the ash.
  • Avoid having bonfires in these dry conditions, please use local recycling centres to get rid of unwanted rubbish and waste

With temperatures rising, people can also be tempted to cool off in open water, such as rivers and lakes.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding residents to ‘be water aware’, and resist the urge to enter open water for the sake of cooling off. There can be hidden dangers beneath the surface that can have deadly consequences.

GC Miller added “Every year firefighters and emergency service colleagues are called to incidents where people, both adults and children, get into difficulty when taking a dip in open water.

“Open water can often be deeper than expected with unanticipated hazards below the surface, and even if the weather is warm, the water can be much, much cooler than people expect.

“The water may also look calm on the surface, but there may still be strong undercurrents, especially near locks, that could pull even the strongest swimmer under. There can also be rubbish, like shopping trolleys and rubble hidden beneath the murky water that you could become trapped in. There is often broken glass on the riverbed and cuts from this can sometimes lead to infections, as can other water-borne diseases, so it’s really important people take extra care and look out for each other.”

“The most important thing to remember if you do get into difficulty in water is Float to Live. You should lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat, control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In an emergency call 999 or 112 for the coastguard. If you see someone else in trouble near water, call for help immediately. Never try and carry out a rescue yourself, you could put yourself in danger too.”

To help be prepared in the event of an emergency, download the free what3words app so that emergency services can help pinpoint your location quicker in hard to find areas.