The time of year is once again upon us where schools break up,
the weather gets warmer, and everyone starts to relax and unwind
for the summer.
As the temperatures start to rise, people start to enjoy the
warmer weather by spending more time outdoors going swimming,
camping and caravanning - and these activities can be associated
with greater risks.
Fresh water swimming has grown in popularity over recent years,
with people searching high and low to find the perfect, secluded
swimming spot whether it be a lake, reservoir or river.
However, every year 400 people die in drowning incidents in the
UK, making it the third highest cause of accidental death in
A recent swimming incident at a waterfall in Llanberis led to
tragedy when two men lost their lives and another two men were
taken to hospital.
One of the biggest reasons for deaths by drowning is 'cold water
shock', a danger not many people seem to be aware of, or fully
understand. This is a constant problem in the UK, as inland water
temperatures never get warm enough, and can cause us to lose our
ability to swim and self-rescue.
We worked alongside the Royal Life Saving Society UK to help
promote Drowning Prevention Week between 18th -
26th of June. These are some potentially lifesaving tips
for swimmers to remember over the summer months:
Be aware of your surroundings
and take notice of any warning signs when out and about:
- When running or
walking next to open water, stay well clear of bank
edges. They are often unstable and this can create
slips, trips and falls
- Try to always walk
or run with a friend
- Always let someone
know where you're going - take your mobile phone
- Learn swimming and
Another topic which has been in the public eye lately is the
increasing trend of deliberate fire setting across the whole of
Wales. In North Wales, this became a problem which had an impact in
a number of areas, specifically Wrexham, Blaenau Ffestiniog and
We as a Service are fighting a constant battle against
deliberate fire setters who are a drain on the valuable time and
resources of emergency services.
Not only do these fires cause destruction on a large scale, they
endanger the lives of the people in our communities, as well as
jeopardising the safety of firefighters..
Over the past 10 years, due to hard work and collaboration with
our partner agencies, we have been fortunate to see a 68%
decrease in deliberate fire setting in North Wales - with a
substantial drop in the number of all deliberate fires attended
recently: from 353 cases between 1st March and 30th April in 2011,
to 258 incidents in 2012, decreasing to 166 incidents in 2013, and
more recently reducing again to 153 incidents in 2014.
However, we are still prone to spikes in deliberate fires, such
as the recent spates experienced in specific areas.
It is imperative that this good work is upheld, and the
partnerships we hold continue to combat an issue which is still a
problem in our society.
You can help us drive down deliberate fires. Anyone with
information on such crimes is advised to call Crimestoppers
anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contact 101.
My final message is to be safe this summer during the holidays,
in particular if you are going camping or caravanning.
Summer safety is your responsibility - please take extra care
when cooking, barbequing, or making campfires. There are a number
of steps you can take to ensure everyone keeps as safe as possible
- and these potentially lifesaving tips can be found on our website
Members of the fire and rescue service will be attending various
shows and events during the summer holidays and as always happy
will be happy to provide advice on staying safe during the summer
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