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Advice on heathland fires (pdf 90Kb) from the Fire and Rescue service
General fire and safety information from the Fire and Rescue Service
Advice from the Environment Agency
The recent wet weather has replenished water supplies in most parts of England, but we still need to be careful with our use of water, particularly if we have a period of hot, dry weather.
What can you do to save water?
- Take a short shower rather than a bath (or a shallow bath if you can't shower)
- Don't leave taps running on full when brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your hands
- Use rainwater for the garden wherever possible
- Don't water the lawn with tap water - it will grow back, even if it turns brown
Private water supplies
If your water isn't supplied by a mains network, drought conditions might cause additional problems such as water supplies running dry or the quality of the water abstracted being undrinkable.
If your private water supply provides water for homes or businesses you should have a water safety plan which will help you manage the eventuality that the supply fails. Guidance on water safety plans can be found on the World Health Organisation website.
If you are concerned with the quality of your water please call your local council who can arrange for a sample to be taken.
More information can be found on the following websites, including a section on saving water and money on the Thames Water website and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on all the water company websites.
South East Water
World Health Organisation
Burst water pipes
There is a free 24-hour Leakline to report burst water pipes to Thames Water on 0800 714 614.
Alternatively you can report leaks via Twitter - @thameswater - using the #tweetaleak hash tag.
Are you ready for emergencies?
The chances of you being caught up in a major incident or emergency are low. Nevertheless they do and have happened within Thames Valley.
You don’t panic when a light bulb goes out because you know how to replace it. Have you ever thought what you would do if you found yourself in a situation that was out of the ordinary? For example, if you were flooded by a burst water main, if you were evacuated from your home following a gas leak in your road or you were stuck in a traffic jam for several hours during a heat wave.
Being prepared in advance means that you will deal with the issue more effectively at the time. If you know what to do in advance then you are more likely to make the right choices - and it can be very easy to prepare a plan for your home and family.
To help you plan for emergencies the Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum have prepared a booklet "Are you ready?" that informs you of how you and your family can be better prepared.
Keeping informed during an emergency situation
GO IN, STAY IN, TUNE IN
If there is a major incident, and you are not in the immediate area, our advice is to follow a message that is recognised around the world: GO IN, STAY IN, TUNE IN.
Go home or go inside some other safe location, stay indoors and tune in to local radio or television news programmes for advice and information. Of course, there are always going to be particular occasions when you should not “go in” to a building, for example if there is a fire.
Tune in to your Local Radio Station
Local radio stations usually carry localised information which should be useful in an emergency. Here are some of the radio stations available in Thames Valley.:
Asian Star (Slough) 101.6
Banbury Sound 107.6
BBC Radio Berkshire 94.6, 95.4, 104.1, 104.4
BBC Oxford 95.2
BBC Three Counties 90.4, 92.1, 94.7, 95.5, 98.0, 103.8
Heart (Beds, Bucks & Herts) 97.6
Heart (MK) 103.3
Heart (Oxford) 97.4, 102.6
Heart (Berkshire) 87.0, 102.9
Jack FM 106.4, 106.8
Mix 96 96.2
Newbury Sound 105.6, 107.4
Oxford Glide 107.9 107.9
Reading 107 FM 107.0
Time FM 106.6
BBC Asian Network (MK) 630 AM
Gold (Bucks) 828 AM
It is always sensible to have checked that you know your local radio station and have a battery-powered or wind-up radio in the house to prepare for a range of emergencies, including power cuts and floods.
Advice for staying cool this summer
Most of us look forward to a 'good summer', but high temperatures and humidity can present a risk to your health. Follow our top ten tips to help you, and others, to be sun safe outside and to keep cool indoors.
- Use sunscreen of factor 15 or above, applying it generously and topping up regularly.
- When travelling, always carry a bottle of water.
- Limit activities like housework and gardening to cooler times of the day.
- Wear loose, light-weight cotton clothing
- Wear sunglasses and a hat
- Drink lots of fluids and eat more cold foods, especially salads and fruit, as these contain a lot of water.
- Look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
- Close the curtains on windows that receive the sun and open your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when you can
- Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat
More information is available in the Heatwave Plan for England 2013 from Public Health England and Age UK's free leaflet Staying cool in a heatwave has helpful tips on protecting yourself from the heat and how to recognise heat-related illness, as well as the importance of sun exposure and vitamin D.
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