19 June 2019
With the summer holidays approaching, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is urging everyone to follow key safety advice to stay safe this summer and be fire aware.
Gerry Lennon, Group Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said:
“The Fire & Rescue Service want people to stay safe this summer season and not faced with a tragedy. We play a central role in protecting our community and as a fire and rescue service this time of year presents different challenges for us to deal with. By taking some simple fire safety steps, acting responsibly and remaining vigilant to danger, we can help prevent fire and accidents.
“It’s barbeque season and we’re reminding people to never leave a barbecue unattended and never barbecue while under the influence of alcohol. If you are camping or caravanning, take the necessary safety precautions and have an escape plan and make sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency. “
NIFRS is also making a fresh appeal for everyone to recognise the very serious consequences that deliberate fire setting in the countryside can have on the Fire & Rescue Service and the whole community.
NIFRS Group Commander Gerry Lennon continued:
“The number of gorse fires we attend can increase over the summer and the majority are started deliberately. I am asking the whole community to be vigilant over the coming months and any suspicious behaviour should be reported to the police immediately.
“Gorse fires can also be caused accidentally by something as simple as throwing a cigarette from a car window, leaving a glass bottle on the ground or not extinguishing a barbecue properly. Your seemingly innocent mistake could well cause a severe gorse fire that destroys acres of countryside and ties up firefighting resources for prolonged periods.
“It’s also a time of year when water based activities increase. If you’re near water, please act responsibly and always take basic safety precautions. Be aware that swimming in a river or lake is different from swimming in a pool and should be discouraged. Never, ever swim in a disused quarry – it may look inviting but it is extremely cold and a sudden plunge into the water could cause your body to go into shock. There are often many hidden dangers under the water.
“When swimming at the beach, pay close attention to any warning signs or safety flags. Whenever possible, swim at a beach with a lifeguard. Seek advice about water conditions and where it’s safe to swim – you need more energy to handle the currents and other changing conditions.”