​Warning to handle Jubilee Beacons responsibly

Firefighters are urging the public to ensure they remain safe while lighting beacons to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee this Thursday (2 June).

People from across the UK, including those from Staffordshire, are expected to celebrate the 70th year of Her Majesty’s rule, with more than 2,000 Jubilee beacons expected to be ignited across the country at 9.45pm.

There are three types of beacons due to be lit throughout the weekend, including:

  1. Community beacons: released by charities and other organisations throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK overseas territories
  2. Commonwealth beacons: lit in all capital cities of the Commonwealth
  3. Principal beacon: to be lit on 2 June.

The tradition of beacon-lighting, which dates back to 1897, is aimed at providing everyone in the UK, the Commonwealth and overseas territories with the opportunity to come together to celebrate this historic milestone and reflect on The Queen’s seven decades of service.

The relevant local authority is informed of these licensed events prior to them taking place with appropriate safety measures implemented to make sure the beacons are not mistaken for uncontrolled fires.

Glynn Luznyj, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: “If you are planning to light a beacon, it is vital that you inform us as soon as possible.

“Our firefighters must be aware of where these burns are taking place to ensure resources are not dispatched to the wrong places, which may endanger those in an emergency. 

“Whilst we encourage our communities to take part in the celebrations, we must ensure the appropriate measures are in place to mitigate any risks of fires, including those which may result from BBQ’s or firework displays across the celebratory period.”

He added: “Events must be covered by public liability insurance and alcohol licenses must be held if you are wanting to sell drinks within your event.

“Those who do choose to consume alcohol must not be permitted any involvement in fires of any kind – including firework displays and BBQs which may be held privately.

“The beacon should not be used in proximity of foliage or furniture, such as garden fences and shrubbery, and should be housed in a sturdy frame.

“Do not burn plastics or metals and never ignite your fires with flammables, such as petrol.

“You should ensure your beacon is supervised at all times and a cordon is in place to keep people at a safe distance, whilst ensuring a water source is readily available should you need to extinguish the fire at any time.”

To report a beacon fire ahead of schedule, contact us on 0300 330 1000.

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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding.

In an emergency call 999. General enquiries call 0300 330 1000.