Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service urges the public to stay safe in the heatwave

The fire and rescue service encourages people to stay safe as the temperatures rise in Hertfordshire

Thursday, 6th August 2020, 2:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th August 2020, 2:48 pm

With temperatures set to reach 31 degrees in Hemel Hempstead tomorrow (Friday) Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue is encouraging the public to stay safe in the heatwave.

As temperatures rise in Hertfordshire the fire service is expecting that firefighters will be called to more emergencies than usual, from attending outdoor fires, to undertaking water rescues.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has put together some advice for staying safe in the sun.

Fire engines stock image (C) Hertfordshire County Council

They are advising people not to light bonfire in the dry weather.

In advice issued on Hertfordshire County Council's website, it says: "The grass is so dry that the fire can easily spread far beyond where you intend it to burn. Any stray embers could quickly turn your whole garden into flames.

"Garden waste collections are resuming and HWRCs are reopening so you should be able to deal with garden waste responsibly.

"If you feel you have to light a bonfire then you must ensure this is away from combustible materials such as fences and hedges and always have a garden hose available.

"Our firefighters are attending an extraordinary amount of calls to bonfires that have spread out of control. Please consider the pressure this puts on the service.

"Temperatures are set to soar this week, and that means that on top of dealing with all sorts of fires, we're likely to be called out to help people struggling in the water. Even on a very hot day, the water can be freezing.

"As soon as you enter the water you can lose your breath and experience what is called cold water shock. It makes it hard for you to swim and can lead to drowning.

"There are many unseen dangers when swimming in a river, lake or canal.

"You can never know what dangers lie beneath the surface of open water, so it's better to wait for swimming pools to be open, or investigate whether local groups in your area run guided open water swimming.

"If you are going to swim in open water, which we strongly advise you don't do, make sure you have someone with you who stays on the shore and can call for help if needed."

In the case of a water emergency, dial 999 straight away. Know your location so you can tell emergency services where you are.

A great way to do this is to download the what3words app, which divides the world into 3 metre squares giving each location a unique address which will help 999 call handlers pinpoint your exact location in the event of an emergency. Search for it in your app store or visit www.what3words.com.