The London Fire Brigade says it expects to be called to hundreds of incidents on and around November 5 this year ranging from bonfires that have got out of control, to problems caused by fireworks.
The Brigade is urging Londoners to take simple precautions to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable Bonfire Night.
London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Steve Turek warns “across the UK around a thousand people are injured by fireworks or bonfires each year and so the best advice we can give people is to attend an organised firework display or bonfire. If you are having your own celebration use common sense and follow the firework code.”
To help everyone have a safe evening the Brigade has issued the following advice:
- Only buy fireworks marked with the British Standard Kitemark BS7114
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box, and always follow the instructions carefully when using them.
- Light them at arms length using a taper and stand well back.
- Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
- Never throw fireworks and never put them in your pocket.
- Respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night
- Take care with sparklers – never give them to children under five. Even when they have gone out they are still hot so put them in a bucket of water after use.
- Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening.
- Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges.
- Never use flammable liquids to help start a bonfire and never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries.
- Don’t leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with water.
- Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of emergency. You can use a hosepipe in an emergency during a hosepipe ban.
Londoners are also reminded that firework legislation makes it an offence for under 18s to possess adult fireworks in public places and an offence for anyone other than a firework professional to possess professional display fireworks.
Police have the power to issue fixed penalty notices to those under the age of 18 caught with fireworks in a public place.