24/06/2024

NIFRS Releases Public Summer Safety Advice

As more people spend time outdoors during the summer, the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has called on the public to follow its simple safety advice.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) advises that if you are heading to a caravan or camping, enjoying a swim, taking a boat trip, having a picnic with family or lighting a barbecue or fire pit with friends, to follow their safety guidelines to stay safe.

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Group Commander Paul Morrow said: "We want everyone who is planning their summer activities to take our summer safety advice on board to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

"During the summer months the amount of water rescues we attend alongside other partner agencies can also increase. It’s important to be aware of the many dangers of swimming in open water, whether that’s at the beach, a river or a lough. Have a safety plan before going into the water.

"The number of fires we attend in the countryside also increases over the summer. We are reminding the public to not start open fires and act responsibly by extinguishing cigarettes and taking home litter. These fires can often lead to wildfires which can be devastating for our community and can be easily prevented.

"If you are visiting the countryside, please park responsibly to make sure a fire appliance and ambulance can pass if there is an emergency. If you spot a fire or see someone in danger, call 999."

NIFRS SUMMER SAFETY ADVICE:

Barbecue and Fire Pit Safety

• Keep away from fences, trees, shrubs and sheds.

• Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of emergencies.

• Never use petrol or paraffin.

• Keep children, pets and garden games away from them.

• Make sure ashes are cold before disposal.

Boat Safety

• Fit a smoke alarm.

• Make a fire action plan and ensure everyone on board is aware of what to do if there is a fire.
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• Fit a fire extinguisher in the engine compartment and the cockpit locker.

• Fit a carbon monoxide detector in living spaces.

• Consider getting a fire blanket for the kitchen area.

Camping Safety

• Never light a candle or have any kind of flame burning apparatus in or near to a tent.

• General advice is to always cook outside and well away from your tent, don’t cook near flammable materials or long grass.

• Store flammable liquids or gas cylinders away from the tent.

•Never smoke inside a tent.

Caravan and Mobile Home Safety

• Make a fire escape plan.

• If there’s a fire – get out, stay out and call the Fire & Rescue Service immediately.

• Fit a smoke alarm and test it once a week.

• Consider getting a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket, and know how to use them properly.

• Fit a carbon monoxide detector and keep air vents clear.

• Smoking inside can be dangerous so smoke outside.

Water Safety

• In the summer head to a lifeguarded beach, and swim between the red and yellow flags.

• Be aware that cold water can affect you physically and you can get ‘Cold Water Shock’.

• There may be hidden currents.

• Go with others and look out for each other. While you’re in make sure you have someone watching you and that they have a way to call for help.

• Wear a flotation device.

• If you see someone in difficulty in the water CALL for help, preferably a lifeguard if nearby. Alternatively ring 999.

• TELL them to float on their back

• THROW them something that floats

Wildfires

• Don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground or out of car windows.

• Avoid using open fires in the countryside.

• Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland or grassland.

• Only use barbeques in a suitable and safe area and never leave them unattended.

• Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be extinguished with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible.

• If you see a fire in the countryside, report it to NIFRS immediately on 999.

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