County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) are joining forces with local partners to keep people safe this bonfire and fireworks season. With many organised events cancelled, emergency services are preparing for a busy night as people celebrate in their own gardens.
CDDFRS have joined up with Durham County Council, Darlington Borough Council and Durham Constabulary to ensure members of the public are aware of the dangers of bonfires and fireworks. Whilst most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause real misery.
Fireworks are explosives, they can cause serious injury and even death if they are not treated responsibly. A good start to a home display is to ensure all fireworks meet BS 7114 standards and are only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Firework Code.
Please stay safe and follow the Firework Code:-
- Only buy fireworks over the counter from licensed and reputable retailers.
- Only adults should handle and light fireworks, (avoid drinking alcohol until after the fireworks are done).
- Keep fireworks in a closed metal box.
- Follow the instructions on each firework carefully.
- Light them at arm’s length using a suitable taper.
- Always stand well back, 8m as a minimum.
- Never go back to a lit firework – if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode.
- Never put fireworks in your pocket.
- Never throw fireworks.
Lee Aspery, Arson Reduction and Young People Manager at CDDFRS said: “This year we appreciate Bonfire night is likely to be different for everyone. With the majority of organised displays cancelled, we understand that some members of the public are likely to have a home display.
If you are planning to use fireworks at home, then please follow the Firework Code. If you have children and are planning on using sparklers, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep your four-legged friends indoors and make them comfortable with curtains closed and low music to reduce the effects of noise outside.
We would strongly advise against having your own bonfire. Home bonfires often cause nuisance for your neighbours but are also extremely dangerous. They can spread to buildings, fences, outhouses and cause injury to people.”
As the country is currently in the midst of a global pandemic it is important that people do not take risks, putting additional pressures on the emergency services. If people do have home displays, they need to follow the Covid-19 guidance and restrictions in place for their area. It is important people check to see exactly what restrictions are in force if they are invited to a party in someone’s garden.
A Durham Constabulary spokesman said: “If you do decide to set off your own fireworks this year, please remember it is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to buy fireworks. You must also not set off or throw fireworks, including sparklers, in the street or other public places.
“Avoid drinking when in charge of fireworks, and in case of an emergency, keep buckets of water, a garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready.
“Make sure you store the fireworks safely in a closed box and only set them off one at a time. Please also remember to keep pets inside and ensure you do not set fireworks off between 11pm and 7am, except on Bonfire Night when the cut off is midnight.”
Lee Aspery from CDDFRS added: “We would like to ask everyone to be good neighbours and show respect, following this important advice and remembering the Firework Code, we hope that everyone can enjoy a safe bonfire night this year and every year.”
More fire safety information and advice in relation to bonfire night is available of CDDFRS website: ddfire.gov.uk
Advice for businesses on the sale and storage of fireworks is available at durham.gov.uk/underagesales and www.durham.gov.uk/article/3944/Fireworks-and-the-law
Suspect an illegal bonfire? Report it here:
The latest Covid-19 guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-east-of-england-local-restrictions