By KLTV Newsdesk –
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is urging bonfire revellers to make safety a priority while enjoying the celebrations for the first time in two years.
With coronavirus restrictions lifted, the annual festivities are set to be quite different from last year.
There are plenty of organised events being held around West Yorkshire over the next few weeks around 5 November.
The Fire Service is working with local partners including councils, West Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Ambulance Service. To help maintain maximum public safety, the service will draft in additional resources in the days leading up to and after bonfire night.
Bonfire Night and the days surrounding it are often some of the busiest of the year for emergency services. Unfortunately around this period, there are often reports of antisocial behaviour in local communities.
The WYFRS will be working with local partners to provide educational school talks for young people. Firefighters will conduct spot checks with the local authority to remove fly-tipping that could be targeted for arson.
Area Manager for Service Delivery, Scott Donegan, said: “Following the bonfire cancellations last year, we want people to go out and enjoy what promises to be a fun time of year across our region, however, our priority is that people reduce any risk to themselves, others and celebrate safely!
“If possible, it’s best to go to an organised event as the bonfires and firework shows are bigger and more spectacular, as well as of course being much safer.
“But if you do plan to have a bonfire in your own garden then please follow our guidance.
“That includes only adults buying fireworks, and only from a reputable retailer. Read and follow the Fireworks Code. Think carefully about where you place your bonfire, how you will keep it under control and how you’ll make sure both adults and youngsters are safe around the fireworks and the flames.
“Staying safe with sparklers is crucial. Sparklers should never be given to a child under five, must always be held at arm’s length and in a gloved hand. Once they have gone out put sparklers in a bucket of water or sand.”
Bonfire safety tips
The fire service has a list of guidelines to encourage safety at bonfires. Once a bonfire is lit, make sure you:
- keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies
- don’t leave the bonfire unattended
- keep children and pets away from the bonfire
- don’t throw any fireworks into the fire
- don’t burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint – many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury
Always follow the firework code
- Stand well back
- Keep pets indoors
- Keep fireworks in a closed box
- Only buy fireworks that are CE marked
- Light at arm’s length, using a taper
- Follow the instructions on each firework
- Never give sparklers to a child under five
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
- Always supervise children around fireworks
- Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
- Never go near a firework that has been lit – even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode
Chief Superintendent Daniel Greenwood, commander of West Yorkshire Police’s operation for Halloween and Bonfire Night, said: “Whilst concerns around Covid remain present and a number of organised events will not be going ahead, we do anticipate this Autumn will see a return to traditional levels of activities such as trick or treating and Bonfire night gatherings.
“I want everyone to enjoy both evenings in the right way and simply ask everyone to be considerate of particularly elderly or vulnerable members of the community who may be more affected by the noise and activities this time of year brings.”
Chief Superintendent Greenwood added that while both evenings were among the busiest for police services, police would be patrolling to offer reassurance to residents: “If anyone is concerned for their safety or has witnessed anti-social or criminal behaviour then I urge them to contact the police using 999 if it is an emergency or 101 or online methods if not.”
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is hosting its own Bonfire and Fireworks Extravaganza on 6 November to provide a safe place for people to join in the celebrations while raising funds for the Fire Fighters Charity from all proceeds.
Gates will open at 5 pm with a large bonfire to be lit at 6.30 pm. An autism-friendly mini firework display suitable for smaller children will be held from 7 to 7.30 pm, with the main display going off at 8.15 pm.
To keep the event COVID-secure, places are limited, so visitors are asked to arrive early to guarantee entry.
The event will be held at Fire Service HQ in Birkenshaw BD11 2DY.
A flyer for the event can be viewed below.