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Have a ‘bangin’ bonfire night’- celebrate safely in 2019

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is reminding the public to keep safe this bonfire period – while also making the most of the seasonal celebrations.

With dozens of events taking place in West Yorkshire on November 5th – as well as many more in the surrounding days WYFRS is encouraging the public to attend organised events where possible, or to follow important safety advice if hosting an event at home.

To help keep the public safe WYFRS will draft in additional resources on key dates within the bonfire calendar. We will also attend to assess the safety of any fires that are called in. Bonfires that are safely managed will be allowed to continue, whilst those that are posing a danger to people or buildings may be extinguished.

The service will also be working with local partners in the run up to the bonfire period, to run school talks aimed at educating youngsters. Firefighters will also do spot checks with the local authority to remove fly tipping that could be targeted for arson.

Look out for the hashtag #BanginBonfire on social media to see and share safety messages throughout the bonfire season.

Area Manager for Service Delivery Chris Kirby said: “We want the public to enjoy what promises to be a fun time of year with family and friends across West Yorkshire. However our paramount concern is that people do this safely!

“If possible, people should go to an organised event and these are usually advertised locally and on the internet. At organised shows the bonfires are usually bigger, the fireworks are more spectacular and they are a lot safer.

“But if you do plan to have a bonfire in your own garden then please follow our guidance!

“That includes only adults buying fireworks, and only from a reputable retailer and following the Fireworks Code. You also need to think carefully about where you place your bonfire, how to keep it under control and ensuring both adults and youngsters are safe around the flames.

“It’s also important to stay safe with sparklers, they should never be given to a child under five years of age, must always be held at arm’s length and in a gloved hand. Once they have gone out put sparklers in bucket of water or sand.”

West Yorkshire Police are also working with WYFRS to make sure the period passes safely.

Chief Superintendent Damien Miller, of West Yorkshire Police, said:

“The bonfire night period is one of the busiest times of the year for all of the emergency services. There will be an increase in the number of officers providing reassurance on our streets particularly to vulnerable people over this period.

“Anti-social and criminal behaviour will not be tolerated and we need our communities to help us provide information about anyone involved in this potentially dangerous behaviour.

“People involved in this activity can expect to find themselves facing serious repercussions.

“We want people to enjoy the celebrations and have a safe and fun bonfire night.’

The public are invited to join WYFRS Bonfire and Fireworks Extravaganza at the Fire Service Headquarters in Birkenshaw on Saturday 2nd November. The event includes a mini fireworks display with low noise for children as well as a main fireworks display later in the evening. Plus, for the first time, this year’s event will be autism friendly, with low noise and lights between 7pm – 7:30pm.

Bonfire safety tips

Once a bonfire is lit, make sure you:

  • keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies
  • don’t leave the bonfire unattended
  • keep children and pets away from the bonfire
  • don’t throw any fireworks into the fire
  • don’t burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint – many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury

Always follow the firework code

  • Stand well back
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Only buy fireworks that are CE marked
  • Light at arm’s length, using a taper
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Always supervise children around fireworks
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit – even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode

For more safety tips click here