HUNDREDS of people were given fire safety information as part of work to use police quad bikes and 4 x 4 vehicles along the coastline during The Open tournament in Hoylake.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and Merseyside Police joined forces to keep the area free from arson, crime and anti-social behaviour.

In the weeks approaching The Open, local fire crews have carried out site visits to the areas where the top golfers are playing.

The visits ensured that the firefighters are familiar with access points and what is located on site, in case an emergency should occur.

Mike Buratti, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service arson reduction officer for Wirral, said: "We engaged with hundreds of people and were on hand to offer advice about reducing accidental fires such as barbecue and cigarette safety, particularly in the grassy areas."

He added: "Our presence was also there to deter any acts of anti-social behaviour and arson, as in the past there have been problems on the sand dunes, with grass being set alight.

"We also administered first aid to a number of members of the public for injuries to feet in the beach area."

Paul Murphy, district manager for MF&RS, said: "Fire safety and prevention of fires starting is a key aim for us, particularly during the summer when the grass and ground is dry and fires can start easily and spread unpredictably.

"If you are using a barbecue during the summer extra caution should be taken when lighting them and people should never use petrol as it can ignite quickly and soon get out of control.

"They should never be lit indoors and never left unattended, as well as being left to cool after use and before they are disposed of."