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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Celebrate safely over Bonfire Night and Diwali

23/10/2013

Revellers are being urged to celebrate safely during the Bonfire Night and Diwali festivities.

"I would urge people to attend organised events which are carefully and stringently regulated to ensure health and safety standards are met. The majority of injuries caused by fireworks happen at family events or private parties." 

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is calling on fun-lovers to play it safe and enjoy organised events rather than hosting their own.

Leaflets featuring top tips are being distributed to shops in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and eye-catching posters will be displayed in social clubs, community centres and other facilities.

Approximately 1,000 people are injured by fireworks annually in the UK.

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj said: "Bonfire Night and Diwali are wonderful celebrations and we want people to stay safe and enjoy the festivities with their family and friends.

"I would urge people to attend organised events which are carefully and stringently regulated to ensure health and safety standards are met. The majority of injuries caused by fireworks happen at family events or private parties.

"The Service has once again been out and about in schools across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, educating young people about the potential dangers involved with playing with fireworks. However, it is important that parents re-enforce our vital message as it could have life-saving consequences."

If you do chose to have a private celebration, remember the following bonfire safety tips:

•    If you are having a bonfire, discuss it with your neighbours beforehand
•    Don’t build a bonfire too far in advance as it could encourage anti-social behaviour
•    Build the bonfire away from sheds, trees and wooden fences
•    Check there are no cables – including telephone wires – above the bonfire
•    Ensure there is a suitable barrier around the bonfire to keep spectators at least five metres away
•    Always check that no children or animals are hiding in the bonfire before lighting it
•    Don’t burn aerosols, batteries, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint as it may produce toxic fumes and some canisters may explode, causing injury
•    Don’t use petrol, paraffin, diesel, white spirit or methylated spirit to light the bonfire
•    Keep some buckets of cold water close by in case of an emergency as well as to damp down after the event

People using sparklers are being urged to remember the following safety tips:

•    Light one sparkler at a time
•    Supervise children with sparklers and never give them to anyone under five-years-old
•    Ensure that everyone handling sparklers is wearing gloves
•    Hold lit sparklers at arm’s length
•    Don’t wave sparklers about when close to other people
•    Never hold a baby in your arms when holding a  sparkler
•    When you have finished with the sparkler put it in a bucket of cold water

People are being encouraged to follow the Firework Code which can be found at http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/1324.asp

Bonfire Night is on November 5 and Diwali runs from November 3-7.

Sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees, fireworks travel at 150mph and can peak at 200 metres in the air.