Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Stay safe during the heatwave

With temperatures reaching the high twenties and continuing to rise over the next week, Gloucestershire is preparing itself for a summer to remember.

As schools break up this week, local people will be looking forward to day trips, festivals, camping trips and more.

Gloucestershire County Council is advising everyone to stay safe and enjoy their long-awaited summer.

Adult social care teams are sending out advice and information to health and social care workers visiting elderly or vulnerable people in the community, hospitals and care homes.

Staff are being advised to regularly check on vulnerable patients and are sharing the same sun safety messages.

For those venturing outdoors, avoiding sun burn and heat exhaustion is also top of the list for enjoying the sun.

Public health experts are advising people to keep hydrated with cold water, spending as much time as possible in the shade and avoiding too much direct sunlight, especially during the hours of 11am and 3pm; the hottest part of the day.

Cllr Dorcas Binns, cabinet member for public health and communities, said: "It's important that people are aware of those who are most at risk during a heatwave such as elderly people, young children, babies, people on medication and those with severe illnesses or conditions."

"By making sure that they have high SPF sun cream, plenty of cold water or liquids to hand and that children are kept shaded and covered from direct sun rays then we can reduce the number of health issues this summer."

More than at any other time of year, local residents are out on their bikes, on motorcycles, on foot and out in their cars.

With the good spell of weather, people are encouraged to take to the roads and travel places for short breaks or other leisure journeys.

Garry Handley, the county's road safety team leader, said: "Our message is a simple one - please keep your eyes open and look out for each other on our roads."

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is also advising happy campers how to reduce the risk of camping fires this summer.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "A long hot summer is what we hope for, however like many changes in activity, it can bring risks."

If you're intending to take out your tent, ready your rucksack or get your caravan back on the road, you should go armed with some safety advice before heading for the great outdoors, like making sure your camp is 6 metres away from any neighbours and don"t use candles in or near your tent.

The intensely high heats that we have been experiencing has caused for the country side and grasslands to dry out, making them more susceptible to fire.

As a very common cause of fires in the summer, the fire service is reminding people to take extra consideration when disposing of glass bottles, especially in these areas as they can catch alight from the sunlight.

Similarly, throwing lit cigarettes out of car windows can set the surrounding countryside on fire.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, added:"it is easy to forget about staying safe when you are having a good time so all I ask is that people follow the advice that has been given so they will have a fun and safe summer."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

By following the Fire Kills campaign's top tips you can ensure that your great adventure is a safe and enjoyable one

Tents

Caravans

Open Fires

If you must have an open fire:

If a fire should breakout:

Remember grass and forest fires spread rapidly:

If you discover a fire:

You can follow Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service on www.facebook.com/glosfire or www.twitter.com/glosfire You can also follow the Chief Fire Officer on www.twitter.com/glosfirechief

Issued by: Chloe Walters, Gloucestershire County Council media team, 01452 426887

18th July 2013