Firefighters are urging people to stay safe as Bonfire Night approaches.
On November 5 last year West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to 278 incidents.
It included 91 deliberate nuisance fires such as grass fires, bin fires, rubbish left in the street or on wasteland.
Now they’re issuing advice on how to stay safe – and your children may be coming home from school with extra tips as firefighters are touring schools.
Chris Kirby, area manager for service delivery, said: “We always urge people to go to an organised event where professionals are in charge of the fireworks – and often this is a more spectacular display.
“If you are intent on having a bonfire in your garden then it’s really important that you follow our guidance on where to site the bonfire, keeping it under control and ensuring both adults and youngsters are safe around the bonfire.
“If you are planning on letting off fireworks, ensure that you always buy them from a reputable retailer and follow the manufacturer’s guidance and the Fireworks Code.
“We are not aiming to spoil anyone’s fun but if bonfires are lit in inappropriate places, or are not being kept under control, then they pose a risk to the public and firefighters will put them out.”
Here’s the advice from firefighters:
- Keep bonfires small and manageable, build them away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and bushes
- Never use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire
- Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children – and keep pets indoors
- Consider using a safety barrier and place at a safe distance
- Avoid drinking alcohol whilst in charge of a bonfire or fireworks
- Keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready
- If you’re popping down to your local bonfire and fireworks display be aware of the cordoned areas and remind children not to go beyond those points
- In the unlikely event that your clothing catches fire, remember to stop, drop and roll
- If a first aider is present allow them to treat any burns and go straight to hospital.
- Wear gloves to add extra protection
- If you and your little ones will be waving sparklers around, do not use in crowded spaces
- Give yourself plenty of room, keep them at arm’s length away from your body – they get very hot! Dispose of in a bucket of water or sand.
- Only children over the age of five are allowed to use sparklers and should be supervised by an adult at all times.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box well away from any bonfire and use them one at a time
- Light the firework at arm’s length using a taper or fuse wick and stand well back – never return to a firework once it has been lit
- Take one firework out of the box at a time or have a tin to store loose fireworks safely, replace the lid in-between lighting fireworks, keep fireworks away from sources of heat or ignition and never light more than one at a time
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully and cordon off the area where the fireworks will be lit
- You can only sell fireworks that conform to EU safety standards (or British Standard BS 7114 if they were produced before 4 July 2010) and which carry the CE mark and meet certain noise conditions. They must have the CE mark or BS 7114 printed on each item or on the retail packaging
- Always buy from a reputable retailer and read the manufacturer’s guidelines
- Category 4 fireworks can only be used by professionals.
- You cannot buy fireworks under the age of 18