Date: 2nd November, 2016
Bonfire Night is just around the corner and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, along with Dorset Police are issuing advice to the public to ensure celebrations across Dorset are safe and enjoyable.
Bonfire Night can be a busy time of year for the emergency services and local authorities. Staff and volunteers continue to be out and about educating the public on the dangers of fires and firesetting. It is really important that members of the public consider their safety when attending bonfire night events.
Safe and Well Manager at Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, Vikki Thomas said: “Bonfire Night is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with your local community, but we want to make sure that the public are kept safe and feel safe. We are urging anyone who is using fireworks or having a bonfire to consider the potential fire risks.”
She added: “There are a few simple things that can be done to reduce these risks, always follow the instructions on each firework and light them at arm’s length, using a taper and ensure that bonfires and fireworks are away from sheds, fences and other flammable materials. But attending an organised firework event is the safest way to have fun.”
Chief Inspector Mike Claxton said: “Our priority is that everyone taking part in Bonfire Night celebrations has a fun, safe time.
“People behaving anti-socially with fireworks is not only extremely dangerous, but can also lead to arrest and prosecution if the behaviour constitutes a criminal offence. Irresponsible misuse of fireworks can leave some members of our communities feeling intimidated and distressed, and this behaviour will not be tolerated.
“It is also an offence for individuals under the age of 18 to buy fireworks or to be in possession of them in a public place. If a retailer is found to be selling fireworks to underage customers, they will be liable to prosecution.
“If anyone has concerns about anti-social behaviour or dangerous use of fireworks, they should contact the police via the Do It Online function of the Dorset Police website, email [email protected] or phone 101. In an emergency, always call 999.”
If the public have concerns about any shops or outlets selling unsafe fireworks, storing them unsafely or selling fireworks to those under the age of 18 they should contact The Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 to report it to Trading Standards.
Any Dorset retailers requiring advice on the sale or safe storage of fireworks can contact the Trading Standards Service Business Advice Line on 01305 or 01202 224702.
The Firework Code:
- Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
- Keep fireworks in a closed box
- Follow the instructions on each firework
- Light at arm’s length, using a taper
- Stand well back
- Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
- Always supervise children around fireworks
- Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
- Never give sparklers to a child under five
- Keep pets indoors
- Site well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs and always away from fireworks
- Before lighting the fire, check that no pets or children are hiding inside it
- Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side
- Never use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire
- Don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols and tins of paint or bottles
- Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children, who must be supervised at all times