'Fireworks, sparklers and bonfires': Fire chief's advice for Bonfire Night

Fire chiefs have urged Northumberland residents to take extra care if they are setting off fireworks on Bonfire Night.

Thursday, 29th October 2020, 12:22 pm

Covid-19 rules have prevented organised displays and community bonfires this year, as well as get-togethers with families and friends.

But Northumberland Fire and Rescue service is aware that some people may be planning to have their own small displays at home.

It is urging those that do follow The Fireworks Code.

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Sparklers burn at over 2000 degrees centigrade.

If you’re going to buy fireworks, you should choose a licensed and reputable retailer, and follow the instructions on the packaging very carefully.

No-one should have their own bonfire, as these can easily get out of control.

Paul Hedley, chief fire officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “This year will be very different in terms of what people can and can’t do, however the serious risks associated with fireworks and bonfires remain the same.

“Fireworks can be fun and very attractive, but are dangerous in equal measure, and you must follow all instructions and guidance.

"Sparklers look lovely but burn at over 2000 degrees centigrade, so please take great care near small children, wear gloves, and always have a bucket of water at hand to drop them into.

“The elderly and vulnerable can also be frightened or made anxious by fireworks, so please let your neighbours know if you plan to use fireworks, and always be considerate to others.

“There is additional pressure on ourselves and other emergency services at this time, and while as a fire and rescue service we’re always here to help, I’m sure that you’d rather not have to call us. So please, plan ahead, and don’t take any unnecessary risks.”

Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member responsible for public protection and community safety at Northumberland County Council, added: “We know that coronavirus is having a major impact on everyone’s lives, and it is ever more keenly felt at times like this, when we would normally be enjoying events with our family and friends.

“However, we must urge and remind people that however tempting it is to carry on as normal, that we must all follow the rules, for our own and others safety.

“Animals and pets in particular can be very afraid of fireworks, so please make sure that they are all safe and secure.”

THE FIREWORK CODE:

* Do not buy fireworks from unlicensed retailers. They may be unsafe and illegal.

* Only buy fireworks that comply with current safety standards.

* Always keep fireworks in a closed box. Take them out one at a time and close the box.

* Never put fireworks in your pocket.

* Be considerate. Let your neighbours know you will be having a display, especially if they are elderly or they have pets or children.

* Avoid setting fireworks off late at night, particularly if it is a school-night.

* Ensure your pets are safe.

* Carefully follow the instructions on each firework.

* Never go back to a lit firework unless the instructions advise otherwise.

* Never throw fireworks; it is dangerous.

* Light fireworks one at a time, at the end of the fuse, and at arm’s length.

* Light sparklers one at a time and wear suitable gloves, even when lighting them.

* Never give sparklers to a child under the age of 5.

* Never throw used fireworks on a bonfire.

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