Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging revellers to be safety savvy as temperatures soar to 20 degrees.
“What may appear to be a trivial act like dropping a cigarette that hasn’t been properly extinguished or leaving a lit barbecue for a few minutes can have devastating – and potentially life threatening – consequences.”
Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj
The summer has well and truly arrived this week, bringing with it a boom in barbecues – and in the number of potential fire risks.
Grass fires – which have a major impact on frontline firefighting resources - see a substantial increase when the warmer weather sets in.
While the majority are deliberate, some are caused by seemingly innocent mistakes, such as leaving a barbecue unattended or not properly extinguishing a cigarette.
The service has launched a ‘Summer Safety’ campaign in a bid to prevent such incidents.
Posters promoting the initiative have been sent to garden centres, camp sites and community facilities across the area and A6 cards featuring safety advice will be handed out to people at events.
Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj said: “Families and friends will be out enjoying the sunshine in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent this weekend and we want them to celebrate safely.
“What may appear to be a trivial act like dropping a cigarette that hasn’t been properly extinguished or leaving a lit barbecue for a few minutes can have devastating – and potentially life threatening – consequences.
“Grass fires spread rapidly and can destroy acres of land as well as tying up vital firefighting resources for hours, days or even weeks.”
The service has put together the following top tips for summer safety:
• Make sure cigarettes are put out properly and never throw them out of car windows – they could start a fire and destroy the countryside
• Never leave a lit barbecue unattended and don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of cooking
• Never take a barbecue into an enclosed space like a tent – the carbon monoxide it gives off could be fatal
• Do not swim in pools, quarries or lakes - underwater currents, debris and cold water temperatures can easily result in difficulties
• Do not deliberately start a grass fire – this is a crime which not only puts the countryside and wildlife in danger, it also poses a serious risk to life
For more information on the ‘Summer Safety’ campaign visit http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/summersafety.asp
Also, follow Staffs Fire on Twitter (@staffsfire) and Facebook (Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service) for regular updates throughout the summer.