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Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service issues guidelines for Bonfire Night

As Bonfire Night approaches, residents are reminded to stay safe while enjoying the festivities.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service wants everyone to enjoy Bonfire Night safely. However, fire crews are often called to incidents involving out of control bonfires and fireworks that can be easily avoided by taking a few simple precautions.

Bonfire Night, Midsummer Common, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bonfire Night, Midsummer Common, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Station commander Gareth Boyd, community risk manager, said: “Bonfire Night can be plenty of fun for all of the family to enjoy, but with lots of potential hazards, it’s really important to keep you and your family safe.

“Simple things like attending an organised fireworks display can make a big difference. Although people like to host their own displays in their gardens for example, the service urges everyone to follow some simple firework and bonfire safety tips to help ensure they are staying safe.”

A map showing the details and locations of displays around the county can be found on the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service website: cambsfire.gov.uk/community-safety/outdoor-safety/firework-safety/ .

The service also urges people to think twice about having their own bonfire.

Station Commander Boyd continued : “Lighting a bonfire in a garden presents significant risks to residents if they get out of hand.

“Not only this, but the smoke can also aggravate neighbours with respiratory problems. They can also get out of control very quickly, causing damage to property and sometimes serious injury.”

If you do plan on using fireworks at home, please ensure you consider the following safety advice: Only buy fireworks with a CE mark, light fireworks at arm’s length using a taper, stand well back and never go back to a lit firework, never throw fireworks or put them in your pockets or clothing, light sparklers one at a time wearing gloves and place used sparklers in a bucket of water, never give sparklers to children under five, keep your pets indoors throughout the evening, it is illegal to sell fireworks to someone under the age of 18 or to light fireworks in a public place, respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws to follow.

If you do decide to have a bonfire, please follow these five tips: Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges, never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire and never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture, or batteries, don’t leave bonfires unattended, always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case the fire spreads, check the weather – avoid lighting bonfires in high winds.

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