21 June 2018
Camp fire

Many will be happy the British weather seems to have been allowing us quite a few warm days to enjoy.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to use this opportunity to remind people how to make sure their summer outdoor activities remain as safe as possible.

Unfortunately, the many fun activities we associate with summer, such as barbecues and swimming, also go hand in hand with possible risks.

In this article, we have put together some advice for families, to help keep them safer this summer.

Tina Collett, District Liaison Officer within the Prevention and Community Protection Department, said: “If we are lucky enough to have a warm period of weather, many people use the opportunity to barbecue or go on holiday where they might be camping and swimming.

“We have put together some safety advice just to act as a reminder about some of the common risks that can be an issue at this time of year, whether that be making sure barbecues are used safely or ensuring paddling pools are emptied at the end of each use, so as not to pose a drowning risk to small children.

“We want everyone to enjoy the summer period and, most of all, to keep themselves safe.”

Outdoor summer safety advice


  • Make sure barbecues are well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue.
  • Never leave a barbecue or any cooking unattended.
  • Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and start a fire.
  • Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue or any cooking.

Camping and caravans

  • Never use candles in or near a tent, torches are safer.
  • Don’t smoke inside a tent.
  • Place your cooking area well away from the tent.
  • Ensure caravans and tents are at least six metres apart and away from parked cars.
  • Make sure you know what the fire arrangements on the camp site are and where the nearest telephone is.
  • Keep your cooking area clear of items that catch fire easily (flammable items), including long, dry grass.
  • Never use a cooker or heater while the caravan is moving.
  • Inside caravans, never block air vents. If any leaking gas builds up you may fall unconscious and be unable to escape.
  • Don’t leave children alone inside caravans, and keep matches and lighters out of their reach.

Water safety

  • Be prepared for water fun in the summer; make sure the whole family learns to swim.
  • Always supervise children in water, even if they know how to swim.
  • Never enter water after drinking alcohol.
  • When researching your holiday, or arriving at the destination, check the safety arrangements of any water based activities and if there is lifeguard cover at the pool or beach.
  • Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard. Each year there are drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water.
  • Do not swim near to or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater or coral.
  • On beaches, check when the tide will be high and low, and make sure you won’t be cut off from the beach by the rising tide. Also, be aware of dangerous rip currents.
  • Check bathing sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs – find out what local warning signs and flags mean.

For more information visit outdoor summer safety or The Royal Life Saving Society.