As the mild weather and the holiday season gets underway and residents start to venture outside for both impromptu and planned summer activities, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is launching a new campaign encouraging people to stay ‘caveman safe’.
The campaign plays with the concept of Mankind’s primal fascination with fire, which has been a basic survival skill since before the Stone Age. Firefighters will be highlighting a range of seasonal safety tips, appealing to both men that and women, to make sure their flames do not get out of control and that their ‘inner cavemen’ remain ‘#caveman safe’.
KFRS has produced a short light-humoured film, in the style of a nature documentary, using modern man and his ‘inner-caveman’ to highlight top barbecue fire safety tips. KFRS will be displaying a range of ‘caveman safe’ themed materials, at key locations across Kent and Medway, including DIY stores, camping shops and camp sites.
People will be invited to follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag ‘#cavemansafe’, posting their own barbecue 'cavemen' photos and messages.
KFRS Head of Community Safety Area Manager Lee Rose said: "Unfortunately, during the summer months we see a spike in callouts to outdoor fires. Incidents range from barbecue fires that spread to outbuildings or homes, fences, sheds and vegetation, to an increase in out-of-control bonfires, as people burn off garden waste and other materials in dry conditions.
Most of these fires can be easily avoided. Human behaviour or human error very often plays a part in these incidents, specifically in the following areas:
- underestimating radiated heat and positioning of bonfires or barbecues
- dangerous use of accelerants and ignition of flammable vapours
- not realising how easily a fire can get out of control, beyond the point of being able to tackle it safety
- unsafe disposal of hot coals
- additional risks such as alcohol consumption, peer pressure, inexperience and distraction, or neglect, i.e. leaving unattended.
Lee added: "Some of these fires result in serious injury or significant property damage. This campaign aims to target residents who may be at risk because they overestimate their ability to have a safe fire, or underestimate the risks but are not necessarily open to conventional safety messages.
"Although the campaign carries some serious advice, it intends to appeal in a light-hearted, humorous way and to strike a chord with our inner-caveman - or woman - that may be lying dormant and is only revealed when cooking outdoors or having a bonfire."
In the lead up to the school holidays, KFRS’s community safety delivery team and fire crews have also been delivering summer safety messages to local primary school children and attending community events, handing out summer safety activity sheets designed to increase children’s awareness of summer fire risks.
Families are also being encouraged to enter a free prize draw competition to win a VIP family visit to a fire station.
Visit our campaign page for more information, top tips on barbecue and bonfire safety and handy links to alternative ways to disposal of garden waste.