Firefighters issue safety advice

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People are being urged by Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service to keep important safety messages in mind while enjoying the summer sunshine.

Seasonal advice is being given out about being safe when barbecuing, during trips to the countryside and while at home and also about the potential hazards of swimming in unsupervised locations, such as rivers, canals or lakes.

Stuart Garner, home and community safety manager, said: “We want people to enjoy the summer weather in every way they can, but also to take on board some essential seasonal safety messages, to ensure that fires or rescue situations are not mistakenly caused.”

He added: “Barbecues can present dangers if not used properly. They should be on a flat surface away from fences, trees or sheds and ignited with barbecue fire lighters on cold coals. Fires in the countryside and at home at this time of the year can be caused by the sun’s rays being magnified and causing fires when focused on glass, such as discarded bottles or mirrors in the home.

“It makes sense to ensure glass objects are not placed in direct sunlight and to dispose of glass bottles when out and about via recycling bins.

“Throwing lit cigarettes from car windows or whilst walking could mean they catch fire with dry grass or leaves. I would advise anybody who comes across a fire in the countryside that cannot be tackled with a bucket of water to leave the area as swiftly as possible and contact the fire and rescue service immediately.”

Mr Garner added people should also be careful when swimming and stick to supervised locations where lifeguards will be present.