Summer Safe

As the sun begins to make a regular appearance and days get longer and warmer, our minds turn to spending more time outdoors. Here’re some tips on staying safe as you enjoy fun in the sun.

Barbecues – are you safe around the fire?

Barbecues can be a great way to share a meal but please take care and keep safe.  Here are a few BBQ safety reminders:
  • Never leave any barbecue unattended
  • Ensure the barbecue is on a flat, level surface, well away from trees or shrubs
  • Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area
  • Ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it
  • Keep a bucket of water at hand to use in an emergency
  • Don’t have a barbecue on your balcony, it’s dangerous and a fire risk to you and your neighbours
  • If you’re using a disposable BBQ or have ashes from a charcoal one, please make sure it has cooled before putting it in the bin. To avoid starting a fire you should allow it to cool for several hours and then consider pouring water over it to make sure it’s out
Splashing around in the garden is great and helps to keep you cool, but you need to stay alert to enjoy your pool safely.  For example did you know that even 2cm of water can be deadly to a child and this can happen in just 30 seconds? (Royal Life Saving Society). Here are some useful ways to stay safe:
  • Empty pools at the end of the day  – Empty the pool of water as soon as you’ve finished using it. Do this responsibly. You can, for example use the water for flowerbeds or your plants. Pour the water out evenly over a large surface area. Don’t just soak the ground where the pool is sitting as this can, over time, create an issue.
  • Never leave your children unattended by the pool – Keep young children within arm’s reach at all times. Know what to do in an emergency – you can find useful advice  here. 

When it’s especially hot, open water can be very tempting to jump into and swim in – please take care of the special dangers that come in settings where there’s water around.  Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) shares some good advice here.

Cool home 

Our homes are designed to keep in warm air, so when the weather is very hot it’s hard to cope with. To help keep your home cool when experiencing extreme temperatures:
  • Let in cool air – Open the windows overnight or for a couple of hours in the early morning and before bed – this is when the air temperature is lowest
  • Encourage airflow – Open windows on opposite sides of the home (and any loft windows / hatches) to let hot air out and cold in. Some flats may have windows one side only so you’ll need to open the front-door and use a fan to encourage the air to flow
  • Keep out hot air and direct sunlight – Close all windows, external doors, curtains and blinds before the heat outside rises
  • Use a fan – Few homes have air conditioning so to help move cool air around the home, you can place a bowl of ice, safely, in front of an electric fan
  • Fewer hot activities – Don’t spend a long time cooking or run electrical items that generate heat
Keep cool and drink water
  • Drink plenty of water and take it with you if travelling
  • Keep out of the sun between 11am-3pm
  • Stay indoors or in the shade as much as possible and keep babies and children out of the sun
  • Apply sunscreen often if you do need to go outside
  • Wear a hat or carry an umbrella for some shade from the sun
  • Take shorter cooler showers
  • Don’t leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially children and animals