Firefighters urge residents to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night safely
We are urging anyone who is planning to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night this autumn to make sure they do so safely in order to protect themselves and others from the dangers of fire.
This time of year is often incredibly busy for emergency services, especially fire and rescue services. So, our firefighters are working with colleagues from Staffordshire Police, local authorities and the community, to make sure you enjoy this time of year as safely as possible with your family and friends.
Families should attend organised displays on Bonfire Night where possible and take extra care when attending or hosting seasonal festivities, in order to reduce demand on the service.
Negligence around fireworks can cost lives and we want to make sure people do not put themselves or others at risk of harm during this period.
Ian Read, Head of Prevent and Protect at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We want the public to enjoy themselves as much as possible over Bonfire Night, but we also need to stress how important it is to be aware of the risks involved.
“We strongly recommend that you attend professionally organised displays, which are much safer with few significant injuries occurring, as well as first aid actively on hand.
“If you do decide to celebrate with fireworks at home, please plan this carefully and take extra care.”
If you are hosting or attending a private display, we strongly recommend that you:
- Follow the firework code. More information can be found here: Fireworks: the law - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Store fireworks in a locked and secure container. This needs to be out of reach of children and not kept by flammable materials or heating devices
- Avoid having a display in your garden. These can escalate rapidly and spread to nearby hedges, trees and buildings – including your home. If you decide to have one, follow the advice on our website
- Never consume alcohol if you are responsible for a display or for keeping people safe on Bonfire Night
- Make sure a safe distance is maintained and there isn’t anything nearby which could catch fire.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader, Councillor Abi Brown, said: “We want to reiterate the safety messages from the fire service.
“It’s a lovely time of year, but it is important that residents are only attending official events as unofficial events come with extra risks such as safety concerns and they may not be insured.
“The emergency services are incredible in helping people at times of crisis, and historically are even more so during the lead-up to and on bonfire night.
“We’re supporting the work of our local firefighters to ensure that residents feel safe and are committed to making Halloween and Bonfire Night enjoyable occasions.
Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Victoria Wilson, added: “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time during Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations.
“We’d like to remind people that not everyone in their community takes part and to respect their wishes. It can be an uncertain time for some, particularly more vulnerable people and pet owners.
“Our advice is to attend organised firework displays wherever possible, and if people do have home displays follow safety advice and only buy fireworks from licensed traders.
“The county council’s trading standards team has been working with traders in the lead-up to Bonfire Night offering advice and guidance on safe sales, and shops should display a sticker of authentication if they’re selling fireworks.”