Top causes of rescues and how to avoid them
We do more than just put out fires; we rescue people too. Did you know that we attend more road incidents than fires each year?
There are things that you can do to keep yourself, others and animals safe. Follow our guidance around the top three rescue operations.
1. Road traffic collisions
We attend over 1,000 road traffic collisions a year. On average, 55 people are killed, while a further 650 are seriously injured. More people die on the road than they do in fires. You should:
- check your car before you drive and keep up-to-date with servicing and your MOT. Car fires and accidents can be prevented with regular car maintenance
- drive appropriately in severe weather conditions
- stick to the speed limits
- never use your mobile phone when driving
- always wear a seatbelt
- never drink or take drugs and drive.
2. Water safety
More than half of the people who drown had no intention of entering the water. To keep yourself and others safe around water, make sure that you:
- never leave children unattended near water
- are careful when exercising near water if it’s slippery underfoot
- swim where lifeguards are present. Swimming in quarries, lakes, reservoirs and canals is really dangerous
- pay attention to warning signs and the safety flags at the beach
- are aware of any hidden dangers in the water, like strong undercurrents and underwater plants
- are aware of rip currents. Swim parallel to the shore if you’re ever caught in one.
3. Animal rescues
Sometimes our specialist skills are needed to help animals, and we attend over 270 incidents a year. More than four in ten animal rescues are domestic, more than a third are livestock and more than a third are wildlife and bird-related. To keep your animals safe, you should:
- maintain fences so that livestock and other animals don’t get trapped
- keep your dog away from rabbit holes
- keep dogs on leads when near quarries, clifftops and fast-flowing water
- never jump in water to rescue your dog. Dogs are usually able to get out themselves, and you could put your life in danger by trying to help them
- never leave your dog in a car – especially not on a warm day.
If you see an animal in distress, contact the RSPCA in the first instance. If we’re needed to help an animal, the RSPCA or another emergency service will contact us.
Please never try to enter water or climb heights to rescue an animal yourself.
Make sure you know your location, so if you need to dial 999 you know exactly where you are if you or someone else gets into trouble. We recommend you use the What3Words app to help locate yourself and others.