Welcome from the Chief
Holiday safely this summer
We all like to relax and unwind while enjoying our summer break – but it’s vitally important that we remember a few simple fire safety rules while enjoying the sunshine.
Fires can strike at any time, anywhere - and it is essential that we are always on our guard and take appropriate action to ensure we keep our loved ones safe.
Caravan and Camping safety
Between April 2012 and March last year, firefighters attended 61 camping related fires – with just over half of these fires involving towing caravans, and many involving barbecues.
Staff from the Service have been in contact with camping and caravanning sites across the North Wales to help ensure the safety of those holidaying or enjoying a break in our beautiful region, highlighting potentially vital safety precautions.
I would advise anyone planning a break in a caravan or tent to keep a few safety tips in mind:
Get to know the site
Firstly, it is important to find out what the firefighting arrangements are on the campsite and where the nearest telephone is as well as to ensure that tents or caravans are kept at least six metres apart.
Secondly, fit an optical smoke alarm in your caravan and keep a torch handy for emergencies – don’t use a candle.
Remember, if you have children, do not leave them alone in the caravan or tent and keep matches and lighters out of reach.
Take care if you have access to a power supply, do not overload electric sockets or extension leads and make sure electrical appliances are working correctly.
Whenever you are camping, keep flammable liquids and gas cylinders away from tents – and don’t cook, smoke or use oil burning appliances inside your tent.
Golden rules for the Barbecue
Be careful when using barbecues - make sure that your barbeque is in good working order and keep a bucket of water, a bucket of sand or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies. Ensure your barbeque site is flat and located well away from buildings, fences, trees and shrubs. Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbeque to a depth of about 50mm (two inches) and keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
Never put a barbecue in your tent, caravan or awning – even a cooling one. Not only is it a fire risk, carbon monoxide fumes are also given off by fire. Carbon Monoxide is invisible, odourless and lethal - you may think it’s safe as the flames have died down but more carbon monoxide is given off from a cooling barbeque than a hot one.
And last but not least, be prepared for the event of a fire - you may have to cut your way out of your tent. Get everyone out straight away - fires in tents and caravans spread very quickly. If your clothing catches fire, stop, drop and roll. Call the fire and rescue service as quickly as possible and give a map reference if you have it. Otherwise give a landmark such as a farm or pub to help the fire and rescue service locate you.
Make sure this summer is a safe and enjoyable one for you and your family.
In preparation for this year’s school holidays, School Watch initiatives are going live across the region.
School Watch is a scheme which aims to encourage everyone to keep an eagle eye on schools across North Wales, ensuring they are safe and free from crime and antisocial behaviour over the summer break.
I am pleased that we are involved with this initiative once again this year as it is imperative that we continue to look at ways of reducing deliberate fires within school grounds during the holidays.
Anyone who witnesses suspicious behaviour in or around schools or at school buildings is urged to contact North Wales Police. If you witness a crime in progress always dial 999. Non-emergency calls should be made to 101 or via Crimestoppers Wales anonymously on 0800 555 111.
So many good reasons to test your smoke alarm
We have recently teamed up with visual effects students from Wrexham Glyndŵr University and North Wales based singer songwriter Daniel Lloyd to commission and produce an original short animation to further highlight the importance of regularly testing smoke alarms.
The ‘Reasons to Test’ video features a crew of quirky characters going about their daily routines, accompanied by an original catchy soundtrack – it’s featured on our website and social media sites with accompanying radio adverts.
The video promotes the many good reasons to test your smoke alarm regularly – many people think they will never be involved in a fire but we are all too aware that fire can strike any time, anywhere and testing your smoke alarm to make sure it works really could save your life.
Click here to view and help us to spread this important message – like, share and retweet the video on our Facebook page and Twitter feed #ReasonsToTest.