Be aware of fire and water dangers during the warm weather

Free sizzling barbecue
Free sizzling barbecue

As I write this column we are currently amid a serious heatwave and football is, apparently, coming home.

Whilst for many this is fantastic, for some, such as my fire and rescue colleagues currently battling the moorland fire in Lancashire, it isn’t so great.

Most of you will be aware of the sheer scale of the task that more than 20 fire and rescue services – including ours - have had at Winter Hill and, not forgetting, Saddleworth Moor.

These moorland fires have torn apart landscapes and have spread rapidly. It has been a stark reminder of the dangers that such warm weather can bring.

Warm weather can bring dry grass, vegetation and ground in general. This can mean that fires catch and spread far quicker and as such we are urging people across Nottinghamshire, and beyond, to take extra steps during this heatwave to limit the chance of fire.

This includes avoiding all bonfires – be it in the garden or out in a park or field. They can very easily get out of control and spread to things such as fences, low hanging branches, nearby trees and even sheds and homes.

Additionally, our advice includes being extra careful with things such as barbecues, cigarettes and glass bottles – which can potentially magnify the sun’s rays and cause fires to start be it outside or even through a window.

If you’re a parent, we would finally ask that your children understand the consequences of deliberate fire-setting and, moving swiftly onto another issue, the dangers of open water.

In warm weather like this it can look tempting, and even refreshing, to jump into open bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, rivers and canals. The truth is, however, it is not refreshing and instead extremely dangerous.

Even on hot days the temperature of open water can be 2 degrees and jumping from hot to cold can give you cold water shock – which can drain your strength quickly and even knock you unconscious.

It is also unknown what lies under the water. It might look flat and calm on the top, but there could be a strong undercurrent. It could be deeper than it looks, and of course there can be other dangers such as sharp objects and things such as trollies.

Our message here is therefore unless you are part of an organised open water swim – stay out of open water. It isn’t worth the risk.

Warm weather can and should, of course, be enjoyed – but please do it safely.