Guest column: Take care during summer by Ilkeston Fire Station

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I think we can well and truly acknowledge that summer is here.

With record temperatures pushing 30C (86F) being recorded over the last few days, everyone has been getting a little hot under the collar and looking for ways to cool down.

With this in mind, I would like to give you my top tips for staying safe during the summer.

Going on a long journey? Be prepared – take water, food and sun cream.

Many of you may have seen reported a lorry fire that caused the M1 to be closed for several hours on the hottest day of the year.

While we dealt with the initial incident and got the lorry fire under control quickly, the focus soon turned to drivers stuck in the traffic and the dangers associated with becoming dehydrated.

You never know when you may become stuck in traffic, so be prepared, especially whilst it’s so hot – at the very least take some water with you.

Food and sun cream would also be a great addition to your ‘be prepared’ travel kit.

Be safe around water. Never venture into unknown water – there are no lifegaurds to rescue you.

Every year we hear tragic stories of people losing their lives in or around water.

Reservoirs, rivers, canals and lakes may look tempting, especially when you’re in need of a cool down, but inland water never heats up or gets warm enough to swim in, as well as that, hidden dangers lurk beneath the water.

Your body temperature drops rapidly sending your body into cold water shock, leaving you weak and trapped and unable to get out of the water.

No matter how hot you become or how much your mates are egging you on, how strong a swimmer you are or how invincible you think you are, keep out. If you want a summer dip, go to your local swimming pool.

Another of my tips to BBQ safely! It’s hard to resist the lure of some summer cooking – and a BBQ is the perfect way to enjoy time with family and friends.

However it is so easy for a BBQ to become a summer nightmare.

If in charge of the BBQ, limit your alcohol intake and stay focused.

Keep BBQs away from trees, shrubs, fences, shed, garages and, of course, your house.

Keep a bucket of water and hose pipe on hand, just in case things get out of control.

Never use petrol or paraffin to light/revive your BBQ.

Never place hot coals into your dustbin/wheelie bin, always place them on bare soil to cool down before disposal.

And remember if you are out camping, never take your BBQ into your 
tent or caravan, no matter how cold it is.

Carbon monoxide soon builds up and is a silent and invisible killer.

I hope I’ve not put the damper on your summer fun, but we do need to ensure you take the necessary precautions to ensure you and your family stay safe this summer.