With temperatures expected to exceed 30 degrees, we’re in for a scorching few days across Lancashire. While we want people to enjoy the warm weather, we are urging the public to stay safe as temperatures rise.
Popular activities like lighting a campfire, barbecuing and even leaving litter behind pose a serious threat to Lancashire moorland. Wildfires can occur in the countryside, on moorlands or forests due to carelessness, deliberate ignition or naturally.
There are many ways you can help to avoid wildfires starting:
- Never use disposable barbecues on moorland or grassland. Pack a picnic instead!
- Avoid smoking on moorland. If you do, always extinguish your cigarettes and other smoking materials thoroughly
- Do not dispose of cigarette butts out of car windows
- Never leave bottles behind, as sunlight can become focused as it shines through glass, starting fires
- Keep children away from lighters and matches
- If you see a wildfire, always report it on 999. Don’t assume someone already has
During hot weather and school holidays, we see increasing numbers of children drowning. On average, there are 50 of these tragedies each year in the UK.
Swimming in open water can be great for exercise and a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors. But it can also be very dangerous. Anyone can get into difficulty in the water, even if they are a strong swimmer. It is very important to respect the water and be mindful that the worst can happen at any time.
- Never swim alone in case you need help
- Don’t drink alcohol when undertaking water related activities, it impairs judgement and your ability to swim
- Avoid walking routes near water if you have been drinking alcohol
- Don’t dive or jump straight into open water, this can cause potentially fatal cold water shock even on the warmest day
- Actively 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 effect of cold water shock pass
- Never enter the water to try and rescue someone, call 999 and ask for the Fire Service if inland and the Coastguard if you are at the coast
If you want to go swimming, it is much safer to go to a purpose-built swimming pool with a lifeguard present at all times.
When the sun is shining, a flame-grilled feast in the garden sounds more than appetizing, but be mindful of the risks. Each year, we attend a handful of incidents involving barbecues and chiminea that have got out of control.
- Make sure your barbecue site is flat and away from fences, trees and sheds
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby, in case of emergency
- Always supervise children and pets when they are around barbecues and chimneas.
- Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your fires; use only recognised lighters or starter fuel, on cold coals
Mark Hutton, Head of Prevention for LFRS, says: “So at last it looks like we will have a decent spell of hot weather and we hope you and yours are able to enjoy it safely. We always share a few hints and top tips at times like these, not because we want to stop people having fun, but because we’ve been fighting fires and rescuing people from the worst moments in their lives for quite some time now and we know what tends to happen when temperatures soar. It genuinely saddens our team when we see people getting hurt, property damaged or moorland destroyed, so we respectfully ask you to take just a few moments to consider these simple actions, and even share them if you can. You’ll be keeping yourself, your loved ones, and your property safe and will also be keeping Lancashire safe by minimising the number of avoidable callouts for all the emergency services – so we can remain available to help you quickly if needed.”