Make sure your Bonfire Night goes off with a bang – at an organised display

With Bonfire Night just around the corner, you may be tempted to put on your own display in your garden for your family and friends. However, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) are urging residents not to take the risk with a home display and stay safe by attending an organised event.

The sights, sounds and smells of Bonfire Night make it one of the most exciting nights of the year, but also one of the busiest for our emergency services due to the amount of small fires and firework related incidents. Most of these incidents occur at family or private events and are usually caused through the misuse of fireworks, using old or illegal fireworks purchased from unlicensed sellers, failure to observe the firework code and the consumption of alcohol.

WFRS Community Fire Prevention and Arson Manager, Moreno Francioso said:

“We want Bonfire Night to go off with a bang for the right reasons. Everyone knows that fireworks and bonfires can cause devastating injuries, even if you are being careful. Most of the time, these disasters are preventable, and with most accidents happening at private parties, why take the risk?

“So if you are planning to celebrate, we are urging people to stay safe, ditch the back garden fireworks and go to an organised display.”

Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Portfolio Holder for Fire and Community Safety, Andy Crump, added:

“We want the residents of Warwickshire to celebrate Bonfire Night as safely as possible. There is always an element of uncertainty with fireworks at home, when back garden displays go wrong t

he results can be devastating. So why not play it safe and have a night to remember for all of the right reasons and go to an organised display.”

WCC Trading Standards are working alongside WFRS to ensure that fireworks are stored safely in shops and are not sold to young people under the age of 18. Trading Standards Officers are also visiting firework retailers to ensure they are complying with the law and they will investigate any breaches of the law, especially where fireworks are sold illegally.

Simon Cripwell, Warwickshire Trading Standards Officer said:

“While the advice would be to attend an organised display, if you are still planning to have your own bonfire, then Warwickshire Trading Standards would advise you to be safe and only buy fireworks from reputable sellers.

“It’s illegal to sell fireworks out in the open, on street corners, market stalls, or car boots and an

yone who sees this happening should report it to Trading Standards on 03454 040506.”

WFRS are also encouraging schools to promote firework safety to students by inviting them to enter a firework safety poem and poster competition. The aim of the competition is to remind children about the dangers of fireworks. Around half of all injuries happen to children under sixteen years of age, many of whom may have burn scars for life. Each winner will receive a prize of a £10 book token and a visit to a Warwickshire fire station. If you know any children from nursery age up to year 6 who would be interested then please visit WFRS Bonfire Competition for further details.

For further information and advice including The Firework Code and Bonfire Safety please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/celebratesafely