Cambs FRS - Residents urged to stay safe outdoors as temperatures soar

With temperatures hitting significant highs of over 30°C 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 Paul Clarke said:

“We know people will be wanting to make the most of the warm weather, enjoying the sunshine while socially distancing with friends and family in gardens and outdoor spaces.

“We 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 the 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:

  1. Ensure cigarettes are completely out. Do not throw cigarettes out of car windows onto grass verges or vegetation
  2. Keep BBQs well away from buildings, fencing and vegetation. Put disposable BBQs on bricks, do not place directly on grass. Ensure any BBQs are completely cool before disposing of the ash
  3. Think twice before having a bonfire or garden fire.

Group Commander Clarke added: “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, which is why we are urging residents across the county to follow our simple tips to help avoid unnecessary incidents occurring.”

“It can also be tempting to take a dip in open water while it’s hot, but we’re asking people to ‘Be Water Aware’, and resist the urge for the sake of cooling off. There can be hidden dangers beneath the surface that can have deadly consequences.

“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 still be icy cold.

“The water may 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 river bed and cuts from this can sometimes lead to deadly infections, as can other water borne diseases, so it’s really important people take extra care and look out for each other.”

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