Having a safe Guy Fawkes evening

Issued by Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service

As Guy Fawkes’ Night will soon be upon us, Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service (HIFRS) is teaming up with its partners to give local residents tips on how to have a safe 5 November.

Bonfire Night celebrations can be a great success, but for some the event can end in injury, fire, or even worse.

Temp Area Manager Scott Hay, Head of Community Risk Management at HIFRS, said: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the celebrations on the run up to 5 November, but to take care and stay safe”.

“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.”

Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service have teamed up with Northern Constabulary and its four constituent Local Authorities of Highland, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland Isles Councils to bring residents 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.

Gordon Robb, Principal Trading Standards Officer at The Highland Council highlighted the need for shopkeepers, who sell fireworks, to ensure that they are fully aware of their legal responsibilities in having adequate precautions in place to prevent fireworks being sold to people under 18 years of age and in keeping the fireworks safely.

Anyone who is supected of selling or storing fireworks illegally should be reported to Trading Standards on 01463 228700.

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

“We would urge that anyone who witnesses or has information about people using fireworks in an anti-social or unsafe manner to contact their nearest Police Station or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

In the event of a real fire emergency Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service would advise you to call 999 without delay.

The message from all partners is “Let’s make Bonfire Night one to remember for the right reasons – Don’t Fool with Fireworks”!

2 Nov 2009
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