Stay safe and help us keep unnecessary 999 calls down this Bonfire Night say firefighters

Firefighters are asking members of the public to help them prevent unnecessary 999 calls this Bonfire Night.

November 5 is traditionally a busy night for Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) 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 the risk of unnecessary 999 calls and ensure firefighters are available to respond to other emergencies.

AF&RS Community Safety Officer, Adrian Mantle, said: “We want people to have a fun and safe Bonfire Night so we would advise everyone to attend a properly organised display.

“If you are planning a display at home it’s important you only buy fireworks from a responsible retailer that carry British or European safety marks. 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.

“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 deal with this type of incident.”

Safety tips

  • Always follow The Firework Code.
  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 or with a CE 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.
  • If you are using sparklers, make sure you wear gloves and keep a bucket of water nearby to dispose of them.
  • Never go back to a lit firework – even if it hasn’t gone off as it could still explode.
  • Never throw fireworks or point them at other people.

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