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Show some respect this Bonfire Night

Date: 20th October, 2020

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is joining forces with other blue light agencies to help keep people safe this bonfire and fireworks season.

With many organised events cancelled, emergency services are preparing for a busier time than usual as people celebrate at home.

Ian Hopkins, Prevention Delivery Manager at DWFRS, said: “We are asking everyone to show respect this Bonfire Night, to their neighbours, to the emergency services, and to the real dangers that fireworks and bonfires can pose. Everything is very different this year, we know families will want to have some fun, so we all need to think twice about what we’re doing, take extra care and follow all the advice about how to stay safe.”

Whilst most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause real misery. Remember that fireworks are explosives, and as such should be treated with respect and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Firework Code:

Whilst the country continues to live within a global pandemic, it is essential that people avoid taking risks, potentially putting additional pressures on the emergency services.

A South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) spokesperson said: “We would encourage everyone to stay safe this bonfire and fireworks season, and to prevent injuries by following the Firework Code. If someone does suffer a burn, get it treated as soon as possible to limit the damage to their skin.”

For more information and advice, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/burns-and-scalds/treatment/

At this time of year, we all need to respect our neighbours. Fireworks can frighten people and animals, and the elderly and children are frequently scared and intimidated by firework noise.

Tell your neighbours if you’re planning to let off fireworks, and avoid purchasing really noisy ones. You must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except for Bonfire Night itself, when the cut off is midnight.

Superintendent Gavin Williams from Wiltshire Police said: “We know that fireworks can be great fun, but please remember that you must be over 18 to purchase fireworks and that it is illegal to set off or throw fireworks – including sparklers – in the street or other public places.

“You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally, and there’s also an on-the-spot fine of £90. It is also important that people remember to following the current Covid rules around not gathering in large groups.

“I know people will be keen to mark Bonfire Night this year, but you will probably need to adapt your plans to ensure you are keeping yourself and others safe as we continue to see a rise in Covid cases across the country.”

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. The RSPCA’s ‘Bang Out Of Order’ campaign encourages the responsible use of fireworks and the adoption of tighter regulations concerning their use.

Please show some respect this Bonfire Night. For further information about staying safe, please visit www.dwfire.org.uk

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