The sunshine has finally arrived! So if you’re anything like the picnic-loving crew at Jackson Fire and Security you’re already packing your M&S sausage rolls and family sized packet of kettle chips and thinking about rewarding yourself for all your hard work during the week by enjoying a well-deserved day out. When you’re feeling relaxed, however, you tend to let your guard down. Now we’re not trying to suggest danger lies around every corner and we are certainly not trying to spoil your fun. But we are going to offer some gentle reminders about a few important things to bear in mind to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable day out.


Many of us travel by car if we’ve a day out planned. If it’s a hot day, you’ll probably wind down your windows. It’s very easy to forget to close them all (especially if one was wound down by a noisy little culprit in the back of the car without you realising) and that gives thieves a golden opportunity. Most thefts are carried out by opportunist thieves. They choose easy targets. It can only take 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car. So take a minute to check all windows (and your sunroof if you have one) are tightly closed. If possible, leave nothing on view or at least make sure the most valuable items are well hidden. Even if they’re hidden, it’s still not sensible to leave cash, credit cards, cheque books, mobile phones or vehicle documents in the car. And never leave keys hanging in the ignition as you rummage in the boot unpacking your picnic hamper (oh, ok then, Tesco’s carrier bag) – yes, honestly, we’ve seen people do it.


You don’t have to be on the beach to be tempted to go for an outdoor swim. But even a strong swimmer can get caught out in a river, quarry or lake and it’s easy to misjudge your capabilities. More than half of the drowning or water-related deaths in 2013 were in inland waters such as tidal and freshwater rivers, lakes and reservoirs.


But with fatalities at the sea, on the beach or shoreline accounting for nearly a third of those deaths, you need to take care there too. You can’t tell how strong the current is but once you’re in the water it can quickly pull you under and you can get carried out to sea. Never swim when you’re on your own in case you get into difficulties. Ideally go to a beach with a lifeguard present. Always stay within the red/yellow flags which indicate the designated bathing area where the lifeguards patrol. Plain red flags mean the water is dangerous and shouldn’t be entered; black and white checkered flags are designated watersports areas so never swim there. And look out for orange windsocks as they indicate offshore winds – don’t use inflatables when the sock’s flying as you could be easily swept out by strong currents. If you do get into difficulty, stick your hand up and shout for help. And do the same if you see someone else having problems too. Keep your eyes peeled for other signs and safety advice. Sometimes there may be advice about jellyfish or other hazards you need to be aware of.  Tread carefully; unfortunately some people don’t use bins and that means rubbish like broken glass or ring pulls can be hidden under a thin layer of sand. Rock pools can be slippery as well as sharp on the feet so it’s worth wearing beach shoes.


We’re fairly sure you’ll know most of the advice but do you always do it? Protect yourself with a hat, sunglasses and sun cream - Cancer Research UK recommends at least SPF15. Yes, even in the UK! Apply it generously and reapply regularly as it rubs off if you sweat, swim or change clothes. Dehydration and exposure to the heat can result in dizziness, vomiting and generally feeling unwell so drink plenty of (suitable) fluids throughout the day.


Disposable barbeques have become a popular option for day trippers. But be very careful with them. Only use them on an even surface. Don’t use them on or near public benches. Never leave them to smoulder for hours and make sure the ashes are cold before being put in a bin (douse them in water first to make absolutely sure). Be extra careful in hot, dry weather because of the increased risk of starting a forest or grass fire from a spark. And never use them inside a tent, caravan or any other enclosed space because of the high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hopefully we haven’t put you off that day out.Take a few sensible precautions and there’s no reason why you shouldn't have a wonderful day out to remember. Except of course for the hours you’ll spend sitting in traffic to get there in the first place.

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