Bonfire night sparks off safety campaign

SAFETY FIRST  Bonfire celebrations.
SAFETY FIRST Bonfire celebrations.

Fire chiefs are urging people to be vigilant in the run up to bonfire night.

Between November 1-8 last year in West Yorkshire, firefighters were called to 225 fires in the open which had been started deliberately, a slight reduction on the previous year.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has delivered education programmes to try and cut the number of incidents even more, but says the public must also do its bit.

Its Gone in a Flash campaign has been promoted again this year, showing in graphic detail how fireworks and bonfires can wreck lives if not used responsibly.

Ian Bitcon, Senior Fire Safety Officer, said: “Unfortunately every year our crews deal with the reality of some individuals not taking bonfire night and fireworks seriously.

“To reduce the risks, we encourage residents across West Yorkshire to attend organised displays and bonfires. It’s safer, better for the environment, and everyone has a great time.”

However for those who want to hold their own bonfire celebrations, the following advice has been issued: keep bonfires small and manageable and away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and ushes; never use flammable liquids to light the fire; keep everyone, especially children away from the fire, and keep pets indoors; keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time; never return to a firework once it has been lit; don’t give sparklers to children; avoid drinking alcohol while in charge of a bonfire or fireworks and keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready in case of emergencies.