Summer should be a time of fun to get outside with friends and family to enjoy the sunshine.
Warmer weather also means that Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) get called out to more incidents from grass and rubbish fires, out of control bonfires, cooking left unattended on the barbecue and people who get into trouble in the water.
Thames-side’s firefighters will be sharing safety advice at a key summer event this weekend; the Gravesham Riverside Festival, with the aim of helping everyone have a safer summer.
Thames-side watch manager, Julian Light, said: “The Riverside Festival is the perfect opportunity for us to spread safety messages to large groups of people enjoying the festival fun on the 23 July."
Between 1 April and 19 July 2016, KFRS crews attended 432 outdoor fires. So, if you’re out enjoying a day in the countryside, make sure it stays memorable for all the right reasons; take your rubbish home with you and dispose of cigarettes sensibly to avoid sparking a blaze.
“If you’re planning a barbecue, please stay with it and keep your eye on your cooking. Make sure that the person in charge of the cooking isn’t full of booze – that’s a recipe for disaster and always dispose of barbecue coals safely.”
Around 400 people on average drown in the UK every year, which is one person every 20 hours. In 2014-15 KFRS was involved with 25 water or mud related rescues, which increased to 40 in the last 12 months to June 2016.
Julian ended: “During the warm summer months there’s nothing better than taking a nice cool dip but water fun can quickly become tragedy. Our message is simple; ‘stop and think’ before going for a swim. The water may look safe, but it can be dangerous and it’s not like swimming in a warm indoor pool. Strong currents, cold deep water, unseen hazards like shopping trolleys, broken glass and hidden rubbish lurking beneath the surface are all hidden dangers that can quickly get even the strongest swimmers into difficulty.”
Fire crews and KFRS’s community safety team will be providing life-saving advice and useful leaflets at Gravesend’s riverside throughout the day. Stop by and talk to them, the tips they give might help save your life.
You can get more information about keeping your family safe here or phone 0800 923 7000 (free from landlines).