Fire and Rescue Services urging people to attend organised bonfires

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to attend organised bonfire and fireworks displays this year.

Getting prepped for what is considered the busiest time of the year, Firefighters and Fire Service Control Room staff have been present in communities and schools giving people safety advice.

Last years bonfire season saw firefighters attended 174 deliberate fires across West Yorkshire, which included grass fires, wheelie bins and rubbish that were set ablaze.

Area Manager for Service Delivery Chris Kirby, said: “The run up to Bonfire Night is one of the busiest times of year for the emergency services, particularly due to the increased amount of anti-social fires.

“These incidents can be of significant risk for the public as they can often get out of control, but also as time spent at these fires can result in fire engines not being available to attend other emergencies.

“This can have a knock-on effect on the speed at which we can attend other emergencies, such as house fires. We appeal to the public to be vigilant around this time of year and to do what you can to help the Fire Service. For example, report any accumulation of combustible materials in the street, which could be used and set alight, to your local council.”

The Fire Service wants families to enjoy the bonfire season and the best way to do this is to attend an organised event, rather than host their own, as they are often safer.

The Fire Service will be hosting its own event at the Fire Service Headquarters in Birkenshaw on Saturday, 3 November. There will be a mini fireworks display for the younger children and a main fireworks display later in the evening.

Area Manager Chris Kirby added: “While most adults enjoy fireworks responsibly at home, in the wrong hands they can cause life threatening injuries. Fireworks are explosives and burn at extremely high temperatures and the last thing we want to see this bonfire season is anyone getting injured.”

People who are intending on hosting their own events at home should follow the advice below:

  • Only responsible adults should be in charge of bonfires/fireworks
  • Keep bonfires small and manageable and build them away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and bushes
  • Never use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire
  • Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children – and keep pets indoors
  • Avoid drinking alcohol whilst in charge of a bonfire or fireworks
  • In case of an emergency, keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready
  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box and use them one at a time, replacing the lid each time
  • Light the firework at arm’s length using a taper or fuse wick and stand well back – never return to a firework once it has been lit
  • Remember you cannot buy fireworks under the age of 18
  • Make sure your fireworks conform to EU directive and carry the CE mark 0335 or 0336
  • Always buy from a reputable licenced retailer and read the manufacturer’s guidelines, do not purchase BS7114 fireworks they are now illegal
  • Category F4 fireworks can only be used by professionals
  • Adult fireworks are category F2 and F3 fireworks – they do not include things like party poppers. Sparklers are category F1

You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally.

You can follow the Fire Services campaigns this bonfire season via their Twitter page @WYFRS using #WYBonfire

Article credit to West Yorkshire Police
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