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Bonfire night sparks safety concerns from Brigade

Published October 17, 2023 By

With limited organised fireworks displays taking place across Teesside this November, Cleveland Fire Brigade is warning its communities to Be Smart, Be Safe and Be Sensible over the Bonfire period.

On what is traditionally the busiest night of the year for its firefighters, the lack of organised displays sparks safety concerns that residents may decide to celebrate the night in their own gardens.

Robin Turnbull, Area Manager, Prevention, Protection and Engagement said: “With many of the larger displays that we’ve seen take place in previous years no longer going ahead, we are anticipating a busy Bonfire period as people may choose to host their own displays.”

Whilst most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause serious injury. Over 4,000 people are injured every year due to the misuse of fireworks, bonfires and sparklers which burn at over 2000 oc. The most common injuries are to hands, wrists, and eyes.

We want our communities to enjoy Bonfire night, but their safety remains our number one priority, therefore we’d strongly encourage people to attend one of the many smaller scale organised displays taking place across the region.

Fireworks are explosive and extremely dangerous, so if you do feel the need to celebrate at home, please be smart, be safe and be sensible and remember:

1. Think don’t drink – alcohol and fireworks do not mix

2. Stay alert – always supervise children around fireworks.

3. Stand back – keep behind safety cordons in the appropriate area

4. Four–legged friends – keep pets indoors

5. Be considerate – it’s illegal to let fireworks off between 11pm and 7am, except on Bonfire Night (midnight), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year (1am)

6. Shop safely – you must be over 18 to purchase fireworks and only buy those with a CE mark. You can be fined an unlimited amount and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

Bonfires also are a major concern for the Brigade as they can easily get out of hand and have the potential to not only cause damage to nearby property but also endanger lives.

Shocking statistics released by the Brigade show that during the Bonfire period last year 338 deliberate grassland and refuse fires were recorded across Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-On-Tees and Redcar & Cleveland between 15th October and 12th November 2022.

Alarmingly, deliberate fires of this nature account for around 85% of all fire calls to the Brigade which not only destroys our landscapes and diverts resources from incidents where lives may be at risk but also cost the Teesside economy a staggering £25,000,000 during 2022/2023.

The Brigade is appealing to the public to be extra vigilant during the coming weeks and report incidents involving deliberate fires or violence to staff to FireStoppers.

Robin Turnbull continued: “You are the eyes and ears of our community and can help us to crack down on deliberate fires and violence to staff which sadly tend to rise during the Bonfire period. By telling us what you know about incidents we can investigate them more efficiently and identify those responsible to help keep our communities safe.”

Visit www.firestoppersreport.co.uk to complete the simple online form or call 0800 169 5558. You will remain 100% anonymous. Always.

For more safety advice on Bonfire Night visit our website.

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