Think safe for a happy holiday

They have issued a number of top tips to help people keep themselves and their property safe whilst they are away.

Make your house fire safe

Before you go away make sure your house is fire safe. Check your smoke alarms work and close all internal doors before you leave the house as this may stop a fire from spreading causing less damage.

Safe journey

Holidays can often mean a long journey to and from the airport or your destination. Before you start your journey check your vehicle tyre pressures and tread depth.  Make sure your fluid levels are topped up, including the windscreen washers, coolant and oil.

If you are taking a long journey, plan your route and schedule in regular stops.  Allow yourself plenty of time so you can stay relaxed throughout, sticking to the speed limits and not rushing. Take regular 20 minute breaks, at least every two hours and if possible share the driving.

Caravanning or camping?

Make sure you place caravans or tents at least six metres apart and away from parked cars. Never smoke in bed and if you are camping never smoke inside your tent.  Make sure your cooking zone is well away from your tent and that the surrounding area is clear of items that can catch fire easily. Don’t build an open fire, use a barbecue or gas stove instead.

If you’re planning on enjoying a barbecue whilst camping follow the advice from GasSafe register:

  • Never take a smouldering or lit BBQ into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you have finished cooking your BBQ should remain outside as it will still give off fumes for some hours after use
  • Never use a BBQ inside to keep you warm
  • Never leave a lit BBQ unattended or while sleeping
  • Remember the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning –headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.


Swimming in open water

When swimming in any open water you may be putting yourself in danger and could get into unexpected difficulty, even if you are a strong swimmer.  Open water can be extremely cold, have hidden currents and sudden depth changes. It is advisable only to only swim in supervised locations where lifeguards are present.

David Heycock, Home, Road and Community Safety Manager for Oxfordshire County Council Fire & Rescue Service said, “We would like everyone to have a safe and enjoyable holiday whether they are staying in the UK or travelling abroad.”

“Leave your house safe from fire so that you don’t have any nasty surprises when you return home. Turn off all non-essential electrical appliances and, if practical, gas and water supplies. Empty all rubbish bins and ashtrays and let a relative, neighbour or friend know you’re going away, if possible leave a key with them.”

“Whilst you are on holiday take a moment to familiarise yourself with the fire instructions for your accommodation or campsite.”

Mick Clarke, Road Safety Manager for Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service added: “If you are driving to and from and airport please take extra care as you may be driving early in the morning or very late at night when you would normally be asleep, consider staying near the airport, catching a bus or booking a taxi if you have an early departure or late return.”

“If your flight returns during the early hours and you are planning on driving straight home I would encourage everyone to take a break and refreshments before starting your drive home, and remember if you have a long journey please make sure you take regular breaks.”

Notes to editors:

  • This advice is part of Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service’s 365alive initiative.