Stay Home, Stay Safe this Fireworks Night
We are currently amidst a global pandemic and we are asking people not to take risks, putting additional pressures on our emergency services. We are asking everyone to show RESPECT this Bonfire Night and please stay home and stay safe.
Last year, between 23rd October and 6th November we attended 150 deliberate fires – a 50% decrease since 2018. We’d like to keep this number decreasing as attending firework and bonfire misuse incidents can cost lifesaving minutes in our firefighters getting to other emergencies. Fireworks and bonfires can be extremely dangerous if not managed and handled correctly. Please don’t put your loved ones or local community at risk, fires can spread and become out of control in a matter of seconds, risking damage to property, injury and even death. Firework and bonfire misuse related incidents can cost lifesaving minutes in our firefighters getting to other emergencies.
Fireworks can frighten people and animals. The elderly and children are frequently scared and intimidated by firework noise. After all, fireworks are explosives. Tell your neighbours if you’re a planning on letting off fireworks and avoid purchasing really noisy ones. Fire smoke can also irritate airways, the skin and eyes, causing coughing, wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. People with asthma and other respiratory diseases may become unwell because of fire smoke. These people are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Please don’t make things worse for them, the NHS, or the emergency services. Fireworks can also cause a great deal of distress to animals. In a recent survey, 62% of dog owners reported their pets showing signs of distress during fireworks season, with 54% of cat owners experiencing the same.
Bonfires can also be a significant fire risk and we advise that residents refrain from having fires in gardens, and be considerate of any neighbours with breathing conditions who may also be self-isolating with symptoms of Covid-19. We also do not advise anyone to burn garden or household waste. Please instead use your local authority waste, recycling and composting services or store it for when you can.
Head of Fire Crime and Home Safety, Group Manager Paul Mason said: “This time of year is always fun and we want to make sure that everyone can enjoy the celebrations safely. Our message is simple – be sensible and look after yourselves and each other so that you don’t require our services during your evening. We attend many unsupervised fires and injuries caused by fireworks and out of control bonfires. Fireworks and bonfires are a lot of fun but it’s very important to be cautious and to enjoy the celebrations responsibly. Acting irresponsibly around fires and fireworks can have devastating consequences, can cause life threatening injuries and can even cost lives.”
Halloween is a great occasion to dress your home with all sorts of spooky decorations. Many homes use candles in their decorations to enhance the eerie atmosphere. We would always recommend that you use battery operated lights in the first instance but if you choose to use candles, it’s important to be wary of where they are situated and the other decorations around it. Candles should be isolated enough so that they don’t pose any danger, so make sure other decorations or hanging parts are kept away from the naked flames.
Pumpkins are a staple of the Halloween season, and carving one can be fun. Despite traditionally containing candles to light up their frightening expression, we recommend switching to battery operated lights as a safer option.
Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire – like curtains. Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night. Use a snuffer or a spoon to put out candles, it’s safer than blowing them out as sparks can fly. Remember, children should never be left alone with lit candles.
Be wary of the materials used in Halloween costumes. Synthetic materials are much more flammable than natural materials, so keep an eye out for costumes containing cotton, silk or wool. These materials will be more resistant to fire and give yourself more time to act if a fire does occur.
For more advice and guidance, follow the link.