Fire service urge people to not cause fires during the heatwave
Following a recent spate of wildfires and other incidents, both over the weekend and in the previous few days, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is again reminding people to take extra care during these unprecedented high temperatures.
Over the past three days (Friday to Sunday), HWFRS have been called to a very large number of fires in the open, sparked by a variety of factors, as well as road traffic collisions, house, bench, peat and agricultural fires, and incidents in or near water.
Some of the RTCs have been on the M5 causing significant traffic delays and lane closures.
Between Friday and Sunday, firefighters deployed to well over 30 fires in the open across the two counties, as well as some 12 RTCs/vehicle fires, and two
incidents in or near water – as well as other water callouts last week.
Other deployments have been to dwelling and agricultural building fires, an out of control barbecue, wild and farm animal rescues, oven fires, shed and fence fires, rubbish and refuse fires, and electrical incidents.
They are therefore urging people to exercise extreme caution during the current heatwave.
Top Tips to stay safe:
- Avoid open fires, but if one starts, get well away and call 999 immediately, giving the exact possible, give a map reference or a conspicuous landmark or building nearby
- If you’re camping or caravanning, keep the tent and caravan a safe distance from others and don’t take any fire-risks while inside or close-by
- Avoid disposable barbecues – they can set fire to dry vegetation and stay red-hot for hours
- If you’re having one at home, keeping a bucket of water handy, only use approved barbecue lighters and don’t throw live embers in the dustbin
- Never discard cigarette ends, they can spark off grass fires even if you think they’re extinguished
- Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands or even on a window – sunlight shining through glass can ignite a fire
- Please don’t burn garden waste until the heatwave is over, as this can get out of control very fast
- If you’re heading to water to cool off, opt for a swimming pool rather than rivers or lakes – they remain deceptively cold under the surface and ‘cold water shock kills’
- If your road journey is unavoidable, please ensure you take plenty of water, the vehicle is fully serviced and you have a charged mobile phone – and know who to call out in case of breakdowns
Emma Roberts, Head of Prevention at HWFRS, said: “These are unprecedented temperatures which may reach a record, so it is vital we all take particular care not to cause fires or other incidents which could be avoided with a little planning.
“That way, we can avoid putting ourselves, the fire service or other emergency services in unnecessary danger
“Further information on how to stay safe and avoid causing fires or other incidents is on our website at Safety and advice | Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (hwfire.org.uk).
“We’re grateful to the public for their support on this. Above all, stay safe!”