Fire brigades offer safety advice over UK heat wave


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London Fire Brigade issued safety advice after the Met Office issued a heat health warning for extreme heat wave this week.

London Fire Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner, Pat Goulbourne, said: “The Met Office has issued a warning for extreme heat on Monday and Tuesday and we’re urging people to continue to take extra care and help us prevent fires on open land.

“Make sure rubbish, especially glass, is safely thrown away and cigarettes are always properly disposed of. Grass will be tinder dry after such hot weather, so please don’t have barbecues in parks and public spaces.

“Disposable barbecues that have been abandoned can still end up causing a fire as hot coals can smoulder and pose a real fire risk for some time after the flames die down – they need to be put right out and cooled before being safely thrown away. 

“We would also ask people not to barbecue on balconies. It’s easier than you might think for a balcony fire to spread to others, which could not only leave you homeless but displace hundreds of your neighbours too.

 “People will want to cool down but don’t dive into open water as it’s colder than it looks. There is the risk of cold water shock, which can cause your body to go into shock no matter how fit you are. It causes panic, anxiety, disorientation and loss of muscular control, which cause you to gasp for air and as a result, inhale water. Rather than struggling, follow the RNLI advice and ‘float to live’.

“In this extreme heat, please keep an eye out for vulnerable neighbours and family members and make sure you keep hydrated.”

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officere Rob Barber has urged the public to enjoy the summer sunshine responsibly as record-breaking temperatures are set to hit.

Barber said: “Dry land and shrubbery are particularly prone to accelerating wildfires in the hotter temperatures, as many look to head outdoors and enjoy the sunshine.

“Recent incidents in the Moorlands have pulled significant resources from our organisation and have caused widespread issues with our communities.

“This increase in temperature may also see an increase in people swimming in open water – particularly in cold rivers and canals.

“This water is often much colder than people first anticipate and can cause muscle cramps and shock if people decide to swim them.

“Strong currents are often difficult to see before entering and can cause catastrophic issues when people attempt to get out, particularly if slippery banks surround the water.

“We want people to enjoy themselves and have a great time, but also to think about how they can protect one another and ensure they remain safe.”

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