Heat Dangers


St Helens Council is warning residents to take care during the current heatwave.

Echoing Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service's recent grass fire warning, Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing, Planning & Community Safety said: "In these conditions, any fires are likely to spread quickly.

"We would urge parents to warn their children about the dangers of grass fires - and stress that any fires started deliberately will be investigated by the police."

During one week this month alone (4-11 July) St Helens saw 12 deliberate fires started. During the same period last year there were just two.

The risk of accidental fires is also high during prolonged hot weather. Carelessly discarded cigarettes and glass bottles and unattended or poorly supervised barbecues can quickly lead to a potentially lethal blaze.

With temperatures soaring, young people in particular are often tempted to find the nearest stretch of open water to cool off.

However the council and its Community Safety Partners, including the police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and Helena Partnerships, have been working with schools to warn of the dangers of drowning.

Anyone tempted to take a dip is urged to use one of St Helens Council's swimming pools, where qualified lifeguards are always on duty.

And, while it'll be great to finally feel the sun on our skin, it's worth remembering that over-exposure brings real risks.

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK - and the number of people who develop it is increasing.

St Helens Council's Director of Public Health Liz Gaulton said: "Most cases are caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun or sunbeds. Whilst limited exposure to direct sunlight can help generate vitamin D and prevent osteoporosis, too much will increase the risk of skin cancer. "

With temperatures high, the advice is to keep cool, hydrated and use a minimum of SPF+15 sunscreen if you are spending any length of time outside.