Safer Seasons: Summer

Summer has finally arrived! Here is some useful information on keeping yourself and others safe over the coming months.


Heatwave advice

With the temperatures rising, make sure you're staying safe in this hot weather by reading our advice below.

There is also plenty of other information available on this page to help you stay aware this Summer and keep you healthy over the coming months.

Whilst the warm summer weather brings plenty of joy, it’s important to take necessary measures to keep you, and those around you, safe.

So what needs to be considered?

Take some time to check on anyone you know who might be at risk during the heat wave. This includes the very young, the elderly and those who are seriously ill, as they are particularly at risk of health problems when the weather is very hot. In particular, very hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.

Look after yourself by keeping yourself cool with plenty of water, keeping your environment cool and staying out of the heat between 11.00am and 3.00pm.

For more wellbeing information please visit the West Sussex Wellbeing website.

There is also an increased risk of fires during this period, especially those outside. From barbeques to cosmetic mirrors, fires will start if we aren’t careful.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service have provided some seasonal prevention advice about the dangers of barbeques, bonfires and more to ensure you keep yourself and the countryside safe from fire.


Wildfire safety

Many wildfires start due to carelessness, for example people discarding lit cigarettes or leaving campfires unattended. Deliberate setting of wildfires is illegal and is a criminal offence. Carefully planned and controlled fires (which usually take place between September and April) can be used by farmers to improve their land for grazing.

Follow these tips to reduce the risks of wildfires in the countryside:

  • Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly.
  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows – they can ruin whole fields of crops.
  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands – sunlight shining through glass can start fires - take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
  • Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area and never leave them unattended. 
  • Avoid using open fires in the countryside.

Permission for outdoor fires:

A fire in the open can easily get out of control. You should always check with the landowner first whether fires and barbecues are permitted on their land and only light fires in safe, designated areas. Children should always be kept away from an open fire.

What to do if you see a fire in the countryside:

  • Report it immediately to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service by calling 999.
  • Do not try to tackle the fire if it can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible, and preferably move downhill as a fire will spread more quickly uphill.

Stay alert this Summer

Hate Crime

It’s important you're aware of how to spot the signs of hate incidents in your local community at this time of year.

Many of the county's pubs and clubs are set to attract international support from residents and visitors at this summer's World Cup - and with it brings the potential for racially aggravated conflict.

Hate incidents and crimes can take many forms and are not limited to discrimination on grounds of nationality or ethnicity. They occur when a person is subjected to hostility or prejudice by another person or group because of their race, faith, disability, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity.

So please be vigilant when out and about, and report any incidents by emailing CommunitySafety.Wellbeing@westsussex.gov.uk or by calling 0808 168 9274.

You can also help to spread the word by downloading our poster and displaying it in your local area.

Food Allergy Information

Trading Standards is reminding food businesses in West Sussex to continue providing allergy information for consumers eating out.

Since 2014 all food outlets must either explain to customers, or supply, allergy information about the foods they sell.

The change was intended to make it safer for people with food intolerances to eat out.

West Sussex County Council Trading Standards has worked with local businesses and run training sessions about the laws. Training sessions are still being run and can be booked by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/businesswestsussex.

Anyone who has experienced problems getting correct allergen information from any food outlet can report the matter to Trading Standards on 03454 040506

Tick Awareness

Tick this off your summer safety list!

If you are out in the West Sussex countryside this summer, watch out for a tiny arachnid that can cause a debilitating disease if it bites you.

Ticks can transmit bacteria that cause disease such as Lyme disease. Although not all tick bites result in disease, it is important to know how to avoid them and to take action if you or your family does get bitten.

Public Health England has produced a factsheet which has details about the health risks of tick bites, how to check your skin for ticks, remove a tick and how to prevent being bitten. For further advice, visit www.nhs.uk and search 'tick bites'.


Stay safe this Summer

Beach safety

It’s great to spend a day out at the coast or seaside.

But sea and coastal conditions can change fast and you can get into trouble before you know it. To help you enjoy the coast safely, make sure you check weather and tides before you set out, wear appropriate clothing and footwear and be aware of the risks.

For further information on coastal safety, please go here.

If you get into trouble or you see someone else in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard or, if you are deaf or have a speech impairment, send an emergency SMS

Water Safety

Do you know the Water Safety Code?

If not, take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the code to ensure that you keep yourself safe, whether you are in, on or beside the water this summer.

Safe Travels – Adaptor

In the run up to the summer holidays West Sussex Trading Standards are warning about the dangers of buying cheap electrical travel adaptors for use abroad.

The warning comes after Trading Standards Officers bought 10 adaptors from a range of high street and online suppliers and sent them for safety testing. Six failed the testing - four in particular failed the testing - posing a risk of electrical shock from poor design and construction as well as other safety issues.

You can see the full details here.

If you have bought a travel adaptor and have concerns about its safety, you can let Trading Standards know by calling Citizen's advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.

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