Atherstone residents urged to stay safe outdoors this summer

By Elle Morgan

11th Aug 2021 | Local News

People are being warned to be careful (Image by Pexels)
People are being warned to be careful (Image by Pexels)

Warwickshire residents are being asked to stay safe outdoors this summer as people spend time at the coast in the UK and outside at leisure spots in the county.

Residents should be alert to a number of dangers such as getting into trouble in the sea or open bodies of water, uses of disposable barbecues and drink driving.

Ben Brook, Chief Fire Officer for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "While this summer has seen quite unpredictable weather, we know that there are some summer activities where we can predict that there will be accidents where people need our help. For example, this summer has seen reports from across the UK of barbecues causing fires in fields and open areas – places that can be particularly dry and at risk due to the effects of climate change. In June we attended a property in Stratford Upon Avon where a portable barbecue was placed too close to a wall causing part of the exterior to catch alight. Thankfully no one was injured and the property was not seriously damaged but we are keen to avoid a repeat of this incident that could have had tragic consequences."

Department for Transport estimates of casualties in accidents involving at least one driver or rider over the drink-drive limit in Great Britain for 2017 show that an estimated 8,600 people were killed or injured in drink-drive accidents.

Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Fire and Rescue at Warwickshire County Council said: "Alcohol can impair people's judgement and please avoid drinking if you are planning on going swimming, operating a barbecue or anticipate having to drive later in the day. Accidents can happen in a split-second and can put other people's lives at risk too."

The Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging residents to 'be water aware' in line with a national awareness campaign from the National Fire Chiefs Council. 223 people accidentally drowned in the UK in 2019 and 44% of these people just happened to be near water and had no intention of entering the water. The advice includes:

  • Avoid walking routes near water if you have been drinking alcohol
  • Don't dive or jumping straight into open water
  • Actively supervise children in and around water - drowning can happen fast and silently
  • Never enter the water to try and rescue someone, call 999 and ask for the Fire Service if inland and the Coastguard if you are at the coast

NFCC's Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Lead, Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whittaker, said: "We want people to enjoy spending time in and around water safely. We want to encourage people to be water aware by understanding the risks, following advice and being prepared in the event of an incident. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them, we hope to reduce the number of these needless and preventable deaths."


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