STAFFORDSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service is urging revellers to celebrate safely during the Bonfire Night festivities.
The Service is recommending that the public play it safe and attend organised events which are subject to stringent health and safety regulations.
Community Safety Officers have once again been out and about visiting schools across the county with Operation Good Guy. The initiative educates pupils about the dangers of fireworks using hard-hitting messages and demonstrations.
Leaflets featuring top tips are being distributed to shops across Staffordshire and eye-catching posters will be displayed in social clubs, community centres and other facilities.
Director of Prevent and Protect, Glynn Luznyj said: “We want everyone to enjoy Bonfire Night but we urge people to stay safe by following the firework code and by attending displays that are well organised.
“Children should always be supervised when handling sparklers as they are the cause of many injuries. A sparkler burns at a temperature over fifteen times the boiling point of water and three sparklers burning together can generate the same heat as a blowtorch.
“Officers have been delivering safety message to schools about the dangers of fooling with fireworks but it is important that parents re-enforce our vital message as it could have life-saving consequences.
If you do choose 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
In an emergency dial 999. For all other non-emergency enquiries contact: 08451 22 11 55 or log onto: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekillswww.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills.