Stay safe and help prevent unnecessary 999 calls this Bonfire Night

Firefighters are encouraging people to have a happy and safe Bonfire Night by attending organised displays and events.

Organised events tend to be much safer with a reduced risk of injuries from bonfires and fireworks compared with garden displays.

Steve Quinton, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) Group Manager for Risk Reduction said: “We want people to have a fun and safe Bonfire Night so we would advise everyone to attend a properly organised display as these tend to be much safer.

“If you are planning a display at home it’s important you only buy fireworks from a responsible retailer and that they carry European safety mark which has now replaced the old British Standard mark. You should always follow the Firework Code, store fireworks in a tin, never return to a lit firework and avoid drinking alcohol if you are in charge of the display.

The Service is also asking members of the public to help them prevent unnecessary 999 calls this Bonfire Night. November 5 is traditionally a busy night for fire crews with around 50% more calls than on an average night.

However, many of the 999 calls turn out to be well intended false alarms, where people have spotted a fire which turns out to be a controlled bonfire in a garden.

This year AF&RS is asking people to let their neighbours know if they are having a bonfire as this may help to reduce unnecessary 999 calls.

Group Manager Quinton added: “If you are planning a bonfire at home it may be worth letting your neighbours know as this could reduce the risk of a false alarm at your property and ensure our crews are available to respond to other calls.

“However, if you do have, or see, a bonfire which is out of control make sure you dial 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service. Our crews will be on the scene within minutes and have the expertise and equipment to help.”

Safety tips

  • Always follow The Firework Code.
  • Only buy fireworks marked with a CE European safety mark. Don’t forget to follow the instructions carefully.
  • Make sure you store your fireworks in a metal box or even a biscuit tin, not in your pockets.
  • Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. If you’re in charge of the display, save the drinking until the fireworks end.
  • Build your bonfire clear of trees and fences.
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire and never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans or batteries.
  • Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby for emergencies.

The Firework Code

1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable.

2. Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time.

3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.

4. Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back.

5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.

6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit.

7. Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.

8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.

9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.

10. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.


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