HOT tips and advice are being issued by emergency services ahead of bonfire festivities this weekend.
This time of year is associated with families, friends and communities getting together and celebrating the autumn season, but bonfires and firework displays can present some very real risks.
It is important to follow the correct guidelines when attending a bonfire celebration, or organising your own. Suffolk Fire and Rescue service is advising the following:
· Before you light the bonfire, check that children and animals are a safe distance away
· Never leave bonfires unattended
· Never light bonfires in unsuitable weather conditions, particularly wind
· Never use flammable liquids to start the fire, and never burn dangerous rubbish such as aerosols
· Have only one person in charge of lighting the fireworks, use eye protection and gloves
· Follow the manufacturer's instructions on each firework. Read them by torchlight — never a naked flame
· Light fireworks at arm's length using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick
· Never go back to a firework once lit
· Keep a bucket of water nearby
· Put used sparklers hot end down into a bucket of sand or water
· Never throw used fireworks on a bonfire
Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection said; “We want everyone to enjoy themselves over the weekend, but safety should never be compromised.
“Ultimately we would encourage members of the public to attend professionally organised bonfire events to ensure a safe and enjoyable bonfire night. However, if you do choose to host a private bonfire party, it is important to only buy British Standard marked fireworks, follow the instructions on the box and site any bonfires well away from buildings.”
Jenny Powell, Chief Inspector of Community Safety for Suffolk Police said; “We want to make sure that the public are kept safe and feel safe. It is important to remember that fireworks can scare some members of our community, such as older residents and young children, and find them distressing.
"Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be on patrol and attending bonfire and firework displays in your area to ensure everyone can have a safe and enjoyable time.”