The alert was issued as temperatures were forecast to reach 30C during the day, and 15C at night, for at least two consecutive days.
While the force wants people to enjoy the sunshine and warm conditions, there are also several risks that they are keen for people to be aware of.
Recently, officers have been called to incidents of children and animals being left in vehicles; there are dangers of young people being left unattended near open water, particularly in coastal and beauty spots (there haver been a number of rescues this week); and there has been an increase in reports of children going missing, particularly in coastal areas.
Inspector Simon Outen said: “With the good weather we want everybody to enjoy this rare blast of sustained heat. However, there are always some considerations about enjoying the weather safely, both personally and for others.
“We would always advise against non-organised swimming in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and other open water sources – there are often currents and hidden dangers within such location.”
Even if the weather is warm, waters around the UK remain extremely cold throughout the year. While the surface temperature can be warm, temperatures further down are lower.
If you fall into the water, you may suffer from cold water shock. Breathing increases uncontrollably which means you are more likely to take water into your lungs and drown.
Those who have been drinking may be more likely to take risks, so people are encouraged to take care near water, keep an eye on their friends, and take a safe route home (away from water) if possible.
There are also issues with security during the hot weather, as people understandably want to open doors and windows to cool their properties.
Insp Outen added: “Whilst it is tempting to leave your property insecure, there is unfortunately an opportunist thief who may wish to take advantage – so protect your belongings by leaving buildings and vehicles secure, making sure items are hidden from view.”
Here are some tips for protecting yourself and your property:
○ Lock your front door when out in the back garden;
○ Secure side gates to prevent open access to the rear garden;
○ Don’t leave garage doors wide open advertising what’s inside – close and lock them, especially if there is a door through into the house;
○ Make sure windows are securely locked when you are not in those rooms, particularly those downstairs and ones which are more vulnerable over flat roofs etc. Even the smaller windows, if left open, can provide access into your property. ○ If you do leave small transom windows open ensure keys are not left in any larger windows which can be reached and opened;
○ Do not leave anything valuable by an open window;
○ Consider the security of your vehicle – close the windows and securely lock it.
Insp Outen also provided advice on looking after yourself and others during the heatwave.
He said: “If enjoying alcohol, remember to drink plenty of water – alcohol itself will dehydrate you, and its effects will be exacerbated if you don’t.
“And finally please be considerate of neighbours – in this heat people, including shift workers, will be sleeping with windows open, so just be thoughtful regarding any noise you make whilst enjoying the good weather.”
Although there has been a rise in the number of children going missing, especially on the coast, the Sandi Starfish scheme helps to reunite parents and children if they become separated. Children wear wristbands which have a space on which their parents’ phone number can be written.
You can find out more about the scheme here.