Be sure to make bonfire night a safe occasion, say fire and police services

The Highlands and Islands Fire Service has offered a range of tips on how to make Thursday’s Guy Fawkes bonfire night a safe occasion for those taking part.

Area manager Scott Hay said the bonfire celebrations could be a great success, but for some the event could end in injury or even worse. Everyone should be able to enjoy the various events but should remember to take care and staf safe.

Mr Hay said: “We would urge people to attend organised firework displays, which are well planned and much safer. All too often our firefighters see the damage fireworks and bonfires can do, both to lives and property. Don’t be complacent about firework safety during this time and you and your family will have an enjoyable time.”

The fire service has teamed up with the Northern Constabulary and local authorities, including Shetland Islands Council, to offer the following advice:

• Only buy fireworks from legitimate retailers that are marked with British Standard BS7114;
• Keep fireworks in a closed box, and always follow the instructions carefully ensuring that they are suitable for home use;
• Light fireworks at arms length and stand well back;
• Don’t go back to a firework once lit – even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode;
• Respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night;
• Take care with sparklers and never give them to children under five, and remember they will still be hot even after they’ve gone out so have a bucket of water handy to put used sparklers in;
• Pets and fireworks don’t mix – keep your pets indoors;
• Nominate an adult who is not drinking alcohol to light the fireworks;
• Always keep buckets of water and sand nearby in case of emergency.

Chief Superintendent Bruce Duncan warned of the illegal use of fireworks, saying: “The law in respect of fireworks exists for individual’s safety and our officers will take a robust stance against anyone using fireworks irresponsibly.”

Anyone who witnesses or has information about people using fireworks in an anti-social or unsafe manner is asked to contact Lerwick Police Station on (01595) 692110 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


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