Oxfordshire residents encouraged to stay safe in the sun

With the weather warming up in time for the bank holiday, now is the perfect time to make sure you are ready to enjoy it. Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service is reminding residents to be aware of the dangers that a hot spell can bring.

Whatever you have planned for the bank holiday make sure you stay safe and hydrated, keep a bottle of water with you at all times and remember to wear sunscreen.

Chris Barber, Station Manager for Oxfordshire County Council Fire & Rescue Service said:

“Whether you’re off camping in the countryside, barbecuing with friends or enjoying a picnic with the family, you can take some simple steps to protect yourself and those around you from danger. We want people to enjoy the warm weather, but to do so safely which is why we’re reminding everyone of our summer safety tips which are also on our website at www.365alive.co.uk .”  

Cooling off when it’s warm

During the current spell of warm weather rivers, lakes and canals may look like an appealing way to cool off. However, even on a really hot day, the temperature of a body of open water can remain very cold. Cooling off in open water can have deadly consequences. Cold water shock can cause difficulties with breathing and the movement of limbs.

If you would like to go open water or wild swimming there are a number of clubs that offer supervised sessions. To find out more or to locate a club near to you visit: www.swimming.org/britishswimming or www.openwaterswim.co.uk .

Countryside fires and picnics

If you’re going to be out and about exploring the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside, on a walk or enjoying a picnic you can help to reduce the risk of wildfires. 

Hot dry weather means there’s an added risk of a fire starting, so please take your rubbish homeas sunlight shining through discarded bottles or glass can start fires. Also please extinguish cigarettes properly and don’t throw the cigarette end on the ground or out of car windows.

The great bank holiday getaway

If you’re heading off for a bank holiday break or day out remember to take your sunblock, hat and plenty of water with you. If you’re going on a long journey also take any medication you need with you in the car, you never know if you’re going to get stuck in traffic.

Barbecue chefs

A bank holiday barbecue is a great way to spend time relaxing with family and friends. If you’re planning on firing up your barbecue this weekend make sure it is placed away from anything that can catch fire, such as fences, overhanging trees or sheds.  

When lighting it, only use barbecue lighters and starter fuel on cold coals and never use petrol or paraffin to light your barbecue.

Keep an eye on your barbecue and don’t leave it unattended. Allow the barbecue to cool and make sure it is cold before you empty the ash into your wheelie bin. Hot ashes can melt the plastic and cause a fire. 

Check on elderly relatives

Hot weather can affect anyone, but the elderly and people are most at risk in extreme heat. During the hot spell please check on elderly relatives or neighbours and make sure they are okay.

For more summer safety tips from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, visit www.365alive.co.uk .