Fire service experts are urging people to attend organised bonfire night events rather than hold their own in their garden or on waste ground.
The advice comes ahead of what is expected to be a busy weekend of bonfires and fireworks across Shropshire and this year the fire service has teamed up with police, local councils, housing providers and other partners to provide the public with fire safety advice.
“The best and safest option for everyone is to attend an organised event rather than having a bonfire in the garden,” said James Bainbridge, station manager (prevention) at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“We want people to enjoy themselves but we want to keep them safe too and the best way to do that is to persuade them not to have bonfires in their garden or on waste ground but instead attend an organised event,” Mr Bainbridge added.
The Bonfire Night period also brings an increase in anti-social behaviour that often involves wheelie bins being set alight and fireworks set off in the street. In the run-up to 5th November West Mercia Police are distributing “Arson Alert” leaflets to households across Shropshire.
If you are planning to have your own bonfire the fire service has this advice for you:
· Site the bonfire well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs AND ALWAYS AWAY FROM FIREWORKS.
· Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side.
· NEVER use flammable liquids - paraffin or petrol - to light the fire.
· Don't burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols, tins of paint and bottles.
· Before lighting the fire check for wild animals.
· Keep everyone away from the fire - especially children, who must be supervised all the time.
· For an emergency keep buckets of water or the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready.
· Pour water on the embers before leaving.