Cumbria Fire Service Urges People To Stay Safe In The Great Outdoors

As part of the Fire Kills campaign, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is asking the people of Cumbria and visitors to our beautiful countryside to stay safe this summer.

To mark Outdoor Safety Week (15-22 June) there are lots of things people can do to stay safe outdoors, from taking your litter home and not lighting open fires in the countryside, to being extra careful with barbecues and beware of swimming in open water.

Will Richardson, Prevention manager for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We want people to enjoy the countryside but it’s important they take basic safety precautions.

“Fires that are caused deliberately or carelessly in the open can have devastating effects on the environment, and also endanger people’s lives and property.”

By following the Fire Kills campaign’s top tips you can ensure that your great outdoors adventure is a safe and enjoyable one.

In the countryside

Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats nationally. Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness. Grass and forest fires can spread rapidly, so follow these safety tips:

  • Never throw cigarette ends out of a car window – they could start a fire and ruin surrounding countryside.
  • Put out cigarettes and other smoking materials properly before you leave your vehicle.
  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
  • Avoid open fires and disposable barbecues in the countryside. Always have them in safe designated areas.

Dangers of swimming in open water

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is issuing a reminder to anyone tempted to cool off in rivers, canals, ponds, reservoirs or lakes – swimming in open water can have deadly consequences.  

Every year firefighters are called to incidents where people (particularly children and young people) get into difficulty when cooling off in open water.

The water may look calm on the surface, but there may still be strong undercurrents that could pull even a strong swimmer under. The water may also feel relatively warm on the surface, but just a few feet below can be icy cold even in the hot weather and can very quickly cause severe cramp and hypothermia.

Here are some key safety tips for staying safe near open water:

  • Alcohol and swimming do not mix – stay out of the water if you have been drinking.
  • Always watch your child while at the beach, lake or other natural bodies of water.
  • Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds.

Never interfere with lifesaving equipment – you might need it yourself.