Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service Issue Safety Reminder Ahead Of Warm Bank Holiday Weekend

With warm sunny weather forecast for the upcoming bank holiday weekend and many people planning to take advantage of this and venture outdoors, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) are reminding everyone to take extra care and to follow their top tips for staying safe.

Water Safety

Each year more than 300 people drown after tripping, falling or just by underestimating the risks associated with being near water which makes it one of the leading causes of death in the UK. Not only this, but many more people are left with life changing injuries as a result of water related incidents.

DFRS would like to remind people of the following water safety advice:

In as little as five minutes the body can go into shock from the cold water. This causes:

  • Hyperventilation
  • Gasping
  • Increased heart rate
  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weakening muscles

These symptoms make it impossible to swim, and without a lifeguard on hand to help, can quickly prove fatal.

If you are going for a walk or run near water stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the water’s edge.

Make sure conditions are safe, avoid walking or running near water in the dark, slippery or in bad weather.

If you’ve had alcohol don’t enter the water, avoid walking alone and avoid routes near water  Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal – always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available.

If you are spending time near water – whether at home or abroad make sure you are familiar with local safety information.

Camping/Caravan Safety

Tents

  • Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
  • Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
  • Keep cooking appliances away from tent walls and never cook inside a small tent or near flammable materials or long grass; they can all set alight easily.
  • In the event of a fire, make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out.
  • Make sure everyone knows what to do if clothing catches fire – stop, drop and roll.
  • Don’t smoke inside tents.

Never bring a BBQ inside your tent – carbon monoxide builds up and can kill.

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 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 buildup of poisonous gases.
  • Never bring a BBQ inside your caravan – carbon monoxide builds up and can kill

BBQ Safety

  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.  Never leave a barbecue unattended.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors.
  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue.
  • Ensure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
  • Empty the ashes onto bare garden soil and not into wheelie bins as burning embers could cause a fire.
  • Don’t drink too much if you are in charge of the barbecue.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on cold coals. If you are using a gas BBQ:
  • Never store gas cylinders under the stairs – if there is a fire they might explode and block your escape route.
  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.  Make sure the valve is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue control. This will stop any gas from leaking.
  • If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas cylinder and try brushing soapy water around all joints, watching for bubbles.
  • Change gas cylinders outdoors or in a well ventilated area.

Station Manager John Cooke said: “We want everyone to enjoy the bank holiday, especially as we are set to finally get some sunshine, but with the sun comes an increase in the risk of an emergency occurring.

“I’d therefore ask everyone to take a minute and read through our top tips for staying safe this weekend, no matter how you will be enjoying the warmer weather.”

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