Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Fire Service issues safety advice for hot weather

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has issued safety advice ahead of this week’s hot temperatures.

With the temperatures set to rise, the risk of fire increases - especially in dry weather - and the Service wants to help keep Essex residents safe.

James Palmer, Assistant Director of Prevention and Protection said:

“We want everyone to stay safe during the hot weather. Look after yourself and others by taking extra care especially with barbeques and bonfires. Consider the impact you could have on the emergency services if cigarettes and disposable barbecues are not extinguished properly, we’ve had a number of large grass fires recently and with high temperatures and wind on the way, the risk of these fires increases.”

Hot and dry weather can lead to more fires and the Service wants everyone to help minimise the risk of a fire by taking extra care when having a barbeque or a bonfire - make sure to set it well away from sheds, fences, trees and plants and ensure it is properly extinguished before leaving it.

If you are taking a disposable barbecue to the beach or on a picnic, make sure not to place the barbecue on the grass or near plants and use tools to handle the hot barbecue. Make sure the barbecue is completely cool before disposing of it in a bin, the embers in the barbecue remain hot for some time and could set fire to rubbish in the bin.

If you are smoking while out and about, make sure to properly extinguish your cigarette as the end could smoulder in dry grass and cause a fire.

Glass and mirrors can also overheat and start a fire in the heat, make sure to take all litter home with you if you can’t dispose of it in a bin. Move mirrors out of direct sunlight and away from windows where the sunlight could reflect onto flammable surfaces like curtains.

If you’re looking to cool off in the water, make sure you’re staying safe. Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the UK. 50% of people who die never intended to go in the water.

Assess the conditions before wading into water, don’t swim out of your depth and don’t take any risks as currents can quickly change, particularly in the sea.

Keep an eye on each other when in the water and never let children into the water without adult supervision.

If you fall into the water, cold water shock can cause you to panic but these effects will pass in a less than a minute, try to relax and float on your back while you catch your breath and if you can, grab hold of something to help you float. Stay calm, call for help and swim to safety if you can.

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Page last updated 6 August, 2020

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