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Rescue Service issues warning of hazards hot weather can bring
Friday 14th July 2017 @ 12:09 by Nigel P.
Community Greater Manchester Hyde Longdendale Tameside

The River Etherow in Broadbottom, which claimed the life of 16-year-old student  Jack Pullen, last July. GMFRS is warning about the dangers of entering open water during spells of hot weather




Unlike the winter season that brings with it many obvious hazards in the form of snow, ice and fog, the summer months appears more benign.

However the hoped for good weather of the summer can also present it’s own  dangers, perhaps more subtle, though equally potentially devastating.

So as summer proper gets underway, The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, (GMFRS) are issuing warnings around two of the main killers, fire and water.

Fire risk is a perennial problem of course and comes in many forms, but fires started by barbecues that have got out of control are currently causing particular concern to fire prevention officers.

Especially following two fires caused by barbecues on the balconies of high rise flats in Manchester.

Now fire chiefs are asking residents living in apartment blocks to take extra care when using barbecues following two such fires in less than a week.

Firefighters were called to tower blocks in Manchester on Wednesday, July 12 and on Thursday, July 6 following fires on the balconies of flats.

In both cases, fire crews found barbecues had been used on balconies with wooden floors.

Station Manager Dave Baxter said: “Please only use barbecues somewhere flat, away from anything flammable and especially not on a surface that will catch fire. Always keep a bucket of water nearby just in case the barbecue gets out of hand and check barbecues are fully extinguished before leaving your flat or going to bed.

“Using a barbecue in your high rise building may invalidate your lease and cause significant damage to yours and others property. On these occasions crews quickly tackled the blaze before it had chance to spread, but in previous cases people have had to leave their homes for significant periods of time. Don’t make this same mistake.”

He also cautioned against the build up of flammable debris that can lodge under balcony floors that form a hazard of their own.

Discarded cigarette ends were found under the decking by firefighters.

Steve added: “If you smoke, make sure you put your cigarette right out in an ashtray. They are a lot hotter than you think and can start fires.

Councillor David Acton, Chair of the Fire Committee, said: “The consequences of these fire could have been a lot worse than they were. It is astonishing that people do not follow basic fire safety and put lives at risk by not taking care and using common sense.

“Our firefighters have done a fantastic job to keep these incidents as small as they were.”

For more information on using barbecues safely, visit our website:

The other major hot weather hazard is the lure of cool water which has  already claimed one life in Rochdale last month.

It also nearly a year since the sad death of 16-year-old student Jack Pullen who drowned in the River Etherow, near Hyde.

So the GMFRS is issuing a fresh warning to people not to put themselves at risk by entering streams or water in an effort to cool off . The water is often colder than people think and there can be unseen obstacles on the water bed.

They also warn pet owners not go into water in an attempt to rescue their pets that maybe in difficulty, GMFRS say call them and leave it to the trained professionals.

The GMFRS Heywood inshore rescue team in action

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is giving the warning following a call on Thursday, July 6, to rescue a dog from a stream.

Two crews from Ramsbottom and Whitefield along with the water incident unit from Heywood rescued the dog from a culvert on Palatine Drive, Bury.

Station Manager Daniel Marshall said: “Please never enter streams, open water or anywhere that doesn’t have a lifeguard present.

“You can never be certain of the depth of the water, it is a lot colder than you expect and you can easily be swept away.”

Crews used specialist buoyancy and other tools to rescue the dog and were on the scene for approximately 50 minutes.

Daniel added: “Never follow your animal into water, as they will usually be able to find their own way out.

“If you do see someone struggling in water, call 999 and wait for our arrival so we can use our specialist equipment to rescue them.

Councillor David Acton, Chair of the Fire Committee, said: “Our firefighters work extremely hard to keep everyone in Greater Manchester safe and this incident was no different.

“Water can be extremely dangerous, with culverts giving risk of a build-up of gases, so please never enter them. Our crews are highly trained to enter dangerous situations like this one so please leave it to the experts.”

To find out more about staying safe near water visit our Safe 4 Summer website.