FIRE CHIEFS are urging residents not to build bonfires this Bonfire Night, but if they decide to have one in their garden, to do so safely.
Last year, Cleveland Fire Brigade attended 385 deliberate rubbish fires across Cleveland during October and November– many of which were unofficial bonfires and local councils also removed over 70 tonnes of illegal bonfires as part of a multi-agency initiative.
Lol Craven, Arson Reduction Manager spoke about the potential dangers saying, “We strongly advise people not to build bonfires as they pose many risks, not only to themselves and others, but also to wildlife and property should it get out of hand.
“Building a bonfire on open land is illegal and any found will be removed by the council. If you choose to build one in your garden please follow our guidelines which are:
- Bonfires must be built and supervised by an adult
- Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences, trees and hedges
- Check through your bonfire thoroughly in daylight, but as late as you can before lighting – hibernating animals such as hedgehogs find bonfires attractive.
- Only burn wood – never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries
- Never use flammable liquids to start your bonfire
- Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby
- Never leave your bonfire unattended
- Only use water to put your bonfire out
- Ensure your bonfire is out properly and surroundings are made safe before leaving
“We want everyone who wishes to celebrate Bonfire Night to enjoy it, but to be safe, not sorry.”
You can fire out more information about bonfire and firework safety at www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/bonfire, or follow us on Twitter (@clevelandfb) or Facebook (/clevelandfb).