Have a safe summer!

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is issuing advice on how to stay safe during the summer months.

From camping adventures, caravan trips to festivals and BBQs in the garden, summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.

WYFRS just want to make sure you enjoy this summer as safely as possible, so it’s worth taking a look at our top tips to make sure your summer fun doesn’t end in a 999 call.

Area Manager for Fire Safety Chris Kirby said: “We have already had some fantastic weather in West Yorkshire this year with temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees – meaning ideal weather for summer activities!

“Rain or shine, certain activities can pose a fire risk so it’s always useful to consider some simple fire safety tips to keep you, your friends and your family safe.”

Tents:

  • Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
  • Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
  • If you have electric hook up, ensure it is correctly connected to the campsite electric supply.
  • If you have electrical appliances inside the tent then turn them off when you leave (lamps, heaters)
  • Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls and never cook inside a small tent or near flammable materials or long grass; they can all set alight easily.
  • Make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there’s a fire. Keep a torch to hand when you are sleeping.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire – stop, drop and roll.
  • Don’t smoke inside tents.

 

Caravans:

 

  • Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan.
  • Take special care when cooking – don’t leave pans unattended.
  • Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed.
  • Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can’t burn or topple over – never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t dry clothes over the stove.
  • Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
  • Make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents, to avoid a build-up of poisonous gases.

  

Barbecuing:

  • Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue or any cooking!
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
  • Never use a BBQ inside to keep you warm. BBQ’s in confined spaces can put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on charcoal
  • Never leave a barbecue or any cooking unattended.
  • Keep children and pets well away from your barbecue.
  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and start a fire.Disposable BBQs
  • It is imperative that they are placed on an even surface on either bricks or paving slabs.
  • Place disposable BBQs well away from the house, shed or fences.
  • Do not use disposable barbecues near or on public benches.
  • If you’re using a disposable BBQ ensure it has cooled before putting it in the bin. To avoid starting a fire you should allow it to cool for several hours and then consider pouring water over it to make sure it’s out. 

 

Grass/forest/ moorland fires spread rapidly:

During the summer months the fire service often sees a rise in moorland and grass fires.

Wildfires can be unpredictable and burn quickly and furiously, requiring a lot of valuable resources and time to put out.

 

  • Never throw cigarette ends out of a car window – they could start a fire and ruin surrounding countryside.
  • Clear up and take your rubbish home after picnics.
  • Observe all signs and notices – they are there for a reason.
  • Follow the National Trust Countryside Code.
  • Don’t leave glass bottles. Not only can they hurt people and animals, but they can magnify the sun’s rays and start a fire.
  • If you notice anything suspicious report it by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through the moor watch website at moorwatch.co.uk

 

If you discover a fire:

  • If the fire is small in size and there is someone capable of operating a fire extinguisher then ensure you approach the fire from distance so you can quickly escape if it is too large.
  • Read the instructions on any extinguisher before operation.
  • If the fire is too large to deal with then:
    -Do not be tempted to investigate or extinguish the fire.
    -Leave the area as quickly as possible, call 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service.
    -Do not return unless the fire and rescue service tells you that it is safe to do so.