With COVID-19 lockdown gradually easing over the summer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is reminding the public of the importance of keeping themselves fire safe and summer safe.
As part of the easing of lockdown restrictions, members of the public will be able to enjoy more summer activities, such as camping and water sports and the Fire & Rescue Service is reminding everyone of the importance of doing so safely.
With caravan parks having re-opened on Friday 26 June, NIFRS is also appealing to all caravan owners to make sure they have a working smoke alarm.
Area Commander Gerry Lennon, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said:
“We know that with some of the restrictions on lockdown easing, people will be keen to go out and enjoy the good weather this summer, so we’re reminding everyone of the importance of staying summer safe. You can do that by following our simple advice, which is available through our social media and our website.
“If you’re planning to visit a caravan park, it’s really important that you consider the importance of fire safety. Remember to take the necessary safety precautions, make sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency and, crucially, make sure you have a working smoke alarm.
“If you’re planning on barbequing remember to never leave it unattended. This is also the time of year when water based activities increase, so if you’re swimming or using a boat, please act responsibly and always take the necessary safety precautions.
Summer often sees an increase in wildfires and gorse fires. Some of these fires can start accidentally, by careless disposal of BBQs and smoking materials. Over the previous few months NIFRS responded to over 1,160 wildfires., which can be very demanding for firefighters.
Area Commander Gerry Lennon, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service continued:
“With more people out and about, enjoying the summer, we’re asking the community to be vigilant and think about their safety. People need to be careful with their rubbish, using portable BBQs, and disposing of cigarette butts in the countryside as they might accidentally start a fire which quickly spreads and draws our Firefighters away from where they’re needed the most.
“Thankfully we’ve been able to continue protecting our community throughout this pandemic, but we still need everyone’s support to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on our Firefighters as we move into this next phase. To support your Firefighters, it’s really important that everyone continues to follow the NI Executive’s instructions on hand and respiratory hygiene, social distancing and the numbers of people allowed to meet outside”