Have schools really been ‘in’ to now be ‘out’ for summer this year?! It’s been a funny ole year but hey we’ll go with it as either way schools will now be closing their doors for six weeks as families (hopefully) get to enjoy some sunny days together that don’t involve home schooling.
It’s business as usual here at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service over the summer months and things will be no different in the coming weeks. The Service is, however, keen to share some summer safety messages to make sure you have a happy and safe summer.
The main message to our young people and families this summer is to stay safe. Too many people have experienced sadness this year from losing a loved one from the Coronavirus so as much as we understand that people need this time to enjoy themselves we urge you to do so safely.
During lockdown we experienced some really warm sunny weather that made our daily outings so much more enjoyable but we urge people to be mindful of the dangers involved.
We understand that reservoirs, rivers and canals can look like tempting places to cool off but swimming in open water can be very dangerous and in recent years has led to the deaths of several Lancashire teenagers and young adults. Drowning, cold water shock, hidden underwater dangers and health issues are some of the other side affects from swimming in open water. Cold water shock can affect everyone, even strong swimmers and the young and fit as they cannot control their body’s reaction, often resulting in a heart attack. Due to the nature of drowning incidents prevention is always far better than cure as no matter how fast the emergency response is sometimes we just cannot get to the location of people in difficulty fast enough. Not going into water in the first instance is the best way to keep yourself safe however if you find yourself in difficulty float to live for 60-90 seconds and then shout for help. We also have some throwlines at some known areas which can help someone who is struggling to swim and stay afloat and at risk of drowning. Swimming by the coast can also be dangerous if you aren’t familiar with the area and tides. And if you do go to a seaside resort this summer or even manage to go abroad it is important to know how to keep safe by the sea. It is also important to supervise children around swimming pools, paddling pools and garden ponds.
When the sun is shining there’s nothing better than the smell of a BBQ and the sounds of people enjoying themselves. BBQs are great when they are enjoyed safely and here are some steps to prevent injury or fire spread. Another cause for concern for us during hot weather is wildfires. Only in May this year did we have to declare a major incident due to two wildfires in Lancashire. These unfortunately were caused by disposable BBQs however they can also be started by campfires, cigarettes, litter (glass) and deliberate ignition. Having firefighters up on the moors takes valuable resources away from towns and cities where they may be needed to rescue people from road traffic collisions and building fires.
Read more on how to enjoy the outdoors safely here.
With lockdown easing households are now also able to have sleepovers which is great news for grandparents and friends giving a sense of normality back. To ensure people stopping at your house or vice versa remain safe why don’t you share with them your escape plan? Read more about sleepovers here.
Planning on visiting some of your favourite Lancashire restaurants, cafes or destinations this summer? Read more on suggestions on where to visit and how to keep safe here.
Remember if you or anyone in your household develops symptoms of Coronavirus or you are contacted by the NHS Track and Trace you must self-isolate. If you need to keep children (or even yourself) entertained during this time we have a few resources on our website and even some stories to hopefully keep days busy and entertaining! There is also lots of help and support on the MIND website.
Thanks for reading and we wish you a safe and happy summer!