Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is urging everyone to be fire aware and follow key safety advice to stay summer safe and savvy.
Gerry Lennon, Group Commander NIFRS said: “At this time of year people are on holidays, in a relaxed frame of mind or away from their usual routine and unfortunately they can become complacent about their fire safety or indeed their general safety. We play a central role in protecting our community and as a fire and rescue service this time of year presents different challenges for us to deal with.
“If you are camping, caravanning, boating or enjoying the countryside ensure you, and the people you are with, know what to do in the event of an emergency. If you happen to be in the vicinity of water, act responsibly and take all the basic safety precautions. Be aware that swimming in a river or lake is different from swimming in a pool and should be discouraged. Never, ever swim in a disused quarry – it may look inviting but it is extremely cold and a sudden plunge into the water could cause your body to go into shock. There are often many hidden dangers under the water. When swimming at the beach, make sure you pay attention to any warning signs or safety flags. Whenever possible, try to find a beach with a lifeguard. Seek advice about water conditions and where it’s safe to swim - you need more energy to handle the currents and other changing conditions.
“With the World Cup underway we are also reminding people not to cook or barbecue while under the influence of alcohol. Remember, alcohol consumption increases the risk of accidents occurring.” NIFRS is also making a fresh appeal for everyone to recognise the very serious consequences that deliberate fire setting in the countryside can have. Gerry said: “I am asking the whole community to be vigilant over the coming months for anyone starting fires deliberately and any suspicious behaviour should be reported to the police immediately.”