Stay safe this summer

As the days get longer and warmer and the forecast predicts temperatures rising, we’re all eager to get outside and enjoy the summer months. Make sure you’re prepared by following our top tips and advice to stay safe this summer!

When using a barbecue: 

  • Make sure your barbecue is on a stable base and away from buildings, sheds, fences, trees, shrubs, or garden waste.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on cold coals.
  • Don’t leave a barbecue unattended. Children, pets and any garden games should be away from the cooking area.
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors as there is risk of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning – this includes inside a tent or caravan.
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into a bin. If ashes are hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.

When using gas barbecues and stoves:

  • Store gas cylinders outside and away from direct sunlight.
  • Never store gas cylinders under your stairs – if there is a fire in your home they could explode and block your escape route.
  • Take care when turning bottled gas barbecues on and off.
  • Make sure all joints are tightened, safe and secure.
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue/stove control. This will stop any gas from leaking.
  • Only change when the cylinder is completely empty.
  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder outdoorsor in a well-ventilated area. If you suspect a leak, switch off and do not use.


  • Garden bonfires are not permitted.

Keeping your home safe in the summer and year-round

  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly and replace the batteries if needed.
  • Extinguish your cigarettes and other smoking materials properly and avoid dropping them on the floor.
  • If you own a fire extinguisher, check to ensure it is in good working condition – find out how to perform a fire extinguisher inspection in 3 minutes here.
  • Make sure everyone in your home is familiar with your building’s or your family’s fire escape plan.
  • Check that all windows and doors used in case of evacuation remain unobstructed and open easily.

Stay hydrated

Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when spending time outdoors.

Protect yourself from the sun

If you’re spending time outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high SPF, a hat, sunglasses and lightweight clothing that covers your skin.

Be mindful of heat-related illnesses

Symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke include excessive sweating, dizziness, nausea or rapid heartbeat.

Find more information on what to look out for and what to do if someone you know may be suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, here.

Be safe and aware around water

  • Do not be tempted to swim in unsafe open waters to cool off. Lakes and rivers contain a number of hidden hazards beneath the waters surface, such as weeds and undergrowth, unpredictable depths, strong currents and risk of cold-water shock.
  • Ensure children are aware of the dangers of swimming in open water.
  • Never leave children unattended around swimming or paddling pools.