West Midlands Fire Service are urging people Play It Cool during the heatwave

West Midlands Fire Service are calling on the public to keep themselves and the region safe, as temperatures are likely to hit nearly 30 degrees.

Pete Wilson, our Head of Community Safety, said: “With the temperatures set to soar this week, we’re calling on people to keep a cool head when it comes to safety. We obviously want those who can to enjoy the weather, but remind them of the dangers it can bring.

“From being sensible with barbecues, bonfires and near open water, to carefully disposing of cigarettes and matches – there’s a host of steps we can all take to stay safe.”

Added Mr Wilson: “It’s all too easy to get distracted when you’re having a good time with family and friends. It means you can soon forget how many drinks you’ve had, or that you’ve left something cooking away on the barbecue or in the kitchen.”

He called on people to look out for vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours who might not be able to cope with the soaring temperatures.

And he urged gardeners to check out the rules on having bonfires: https://www.gov.uk/garden-bonfires-rules.

If you’re using a barbecue, sizzle safely!
• don’t drink and cook
• keep the BBQ well away from children, sheds, fences, trees, shrubs and garden waste
• have a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies
• follow the safety instructions for disposable BBQs
• never use a BBQ indoors or in a tent – they give off carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas
• never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your BBQ, and only use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on charcoal
• empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and start a fire.

Drowning is the third most common cause of accidental deaths of people under 16. Many victims, regardless of their age, misjudge how well they can swim. They are often unaware of how cold the water can be and how it can sap their strength and stamina.

Young children can drown in just a couple of inches of water, and most drownings of children aged five or under happen in or around the home.

Be water aware:
• never jump or dive straight into open water – its depth, hidden objects and temperature could all be deadly
• if you must swim in open water, make sure you’re familiar with the area, including signs and advice, and think about what you might do if things go wrong
• if you can see fast-flowing water, DON’T get in – currents can quickly sweep people away
• never swim on your own, and avoid swimming near or diving from things such as piers or rocks. If you find yourself in trouble, put your hand in the air and shout for help if you see someone in danger who needs help, always call for help and ring 999 to ask for the fire service (or the coastguard if you’re on the beach)although well-intentioned, never attempt a rescue yourself, as you could also put yourself at risk. Instead, try finding something that can help them float, such a life ring, stick or empty bottle with the top off.

Stay safe at the wheel:
• any amount of alcohol affects your judgement, coordination and ability to drive, so it’s best not to drink and drive at all
• if you’re going out for a drink, nominate a designated driver who won’t drink alcohol, use public transport or a pre-ordered taxi, or stay over with family or friends
• drive appropriately for the road conditions, with seatbelts on and lights if needed
• stick to speed limits – they give you thinking and braking time.


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