Stay safe if you want your night to go with a bang
RESIDENTS and community groups celebrating the season with bonfires and bangers are being reminded to put people’s safety first.
Tomorrow night (Friday 1st November), a number of local people are expected to light up the cold, dark nights with fireworks parties. In addition, plenty of organised events will take place across the county in the coming week.
Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall, of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Friday nights are among our busiest times of the week. Lots of people will be looking forward to celebrating with bonfires and fireworks. “We want people to be able to enjoy themselves, but we’re urging them to be extra careful and have in place all the safety measures they possibly can. The best option is to go to an officially organised public event.”
Jon added: “People must be vigilant if they’re cooking at home, whether it’s at tea time, for a fireworks party, or later when they get back from a night out.”
The risks can be made worse by the use of illegal fireworks – every year tonnes are seized nationally and they don’t conform to British standards, so are capable of causing serious injury.
Eddie Coventry, Head of Gloucestershire County Council’s Trading Standards Service, said: “Illegal fireworks can be highly dangerous because they haven’t been through the same safety checks as legal ones – these are basically explosives which have the potential to behave erratically. So don’t take the risk.”
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for communities, said: “It is vital for everybody's safety, no matter how small or large the event, that the handling and use of fireworks is taken very seriously.
“We are urging people to be vigilant and to keep their family close by, whether they are hosting their own bonfire party or going to an organised event.”
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has some simple advice for people who are looking to hold their own fireworks parties.
Before your firework display:
• Don’t buy fireworks from anywhere you’re not sure about, like a van or a temporary, unlicensed market stall
• Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 or with a CE mark - this shows that the firework meets British or European safety standards (a reputable shop will know this)
• Follow the instructions on each firework - read them in daylight or by torchlight, never by a naked flame
• Make suitable supports and launchers if you’re setting off Catherine wheels or rockets On the night, make sure you have:
• A closed metal box to store the fireworks - take them out one at a time
• A bucket of water - to cool sparklers and put out any small fires
• Eye protection and gloves • A bucket of earth to stick fireworks in and to hold them steady Lighting fireworks:
• Only one person should be responsible for letting off fireworks
• Don’t drink alcohol if you are setting them off
• Light fireworks at arm’s length, using a taper
• Make sure everyone stands well back • Never go back to a lit firework - even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode Sparklers:
• Supervise children with sparklers and never give them to a child under five
• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
• Put used sparklers hot end down into a bucket of sand or water.
Whatever people’s plans on Friday night, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue is asking them to make sure that they take six steps to reduce the risk of fire in their home.
• Protect your home with smoke alarms
• Take extra care in the kitchen
• Check your electrics
• Smoke safely (if you must smoke at all)
• Sleep safely
• Plan a safe escape
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