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Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service Public Appeal: fireworks and bonfire safety


Emergency services preparing for a busier night than usual

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is working with local partners and emergency services to help keep people safe this bonfire and fireworks season. With many organised events cancelled across the county, emergency services are preparing for a busier night than usual.

It said that there is an emerging concern that more people will plan displays and bonfires to celebrate in their own gardens, which could pose significant risk for those who choose to use them.

Bedfordshire FRS have attended over 614 bonfires/outdoor fires since April 2020. This is a three per cent increase from last year.

Group Commander Stuart Auger said:

“We urge the public not to light bonfires in back gardens. Not only is it high risk to spread to sheds, fences and property, but the smoke produced is a threat to the environment and wildlife.

“Please also consider the health of those shielding and suffering from Coronavirus during this time.”

RSPCA’s Bang Out Of Order campaign

Fireworks can also cause a great deal of distress to animals. In a recent survey, 62 per cent of dog owners reported their pets showing signs of distress during fireworks season. With 54 per cent of cat owners experiencing the same.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the National Fire Chiefs Council are supporting the RSPCA’s Bang Out Of Order campaign, encouraging the responsible use of fireworks and the adoption of tighter regulations concerning their use.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Andrew Hopkinson said:

“We would encourage our communities to think twice before having their own displays and lighting bonfires in their gardens this year.

“Not only do these present risks for residents and our crews, but with the pandemic still with us we all have a responsibility to ensure we don’t put unnecessary strain on emergency services.

“Please show respect this bonfire night and think twice about having your own display.”


Fireworks and pets Image RSPCA
Fireworks and pets Image RSPCA

If you intend on buying fireworks for a home display, please follow the firework safety code:

  • Only buy fireworks marked with a CE mark
  • Don’t drink alcohol if you’re setting off fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions carefully when using them
  • Light them at arms’ length using a taper and stand well back
  • Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn’t gone off, it could still explode
  • Never throw fireworks, and never put them in your pocket
  • Respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws in place you must follow
  • Take care with sparklers – never give them to children under five. Even when they’ve gone out they’re still hot, so put sparklers in a bucket of
  • water after use
  • Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening

For more information about firework safety, please visit the Bedfordshire FRS webpage.

John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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