Fire Brigade kick off bonfire campaign at Middlesbrough Football Club

Bonfire Thumbnail with wordsCleveland Fire Brigade has teamed up with Middlesbrough Football Club to launch this year’s bonfire and firework safety campaign asking people to ‘Be Safe, Not Sorry’.

Last year there were almost 400 deliberate rubbish fires across Cleveland – many of which were unofficial bonfires. These incidents of arson cost the local economy a massive £786.030.

Over the four week period between 15 October to 12 November 2013, North Tees Trust reported 60 bonfire/firework related injuries.

Fire crews and staff from Cleveland Fire Brigade will be at the Riverside Stadium this Saturday, October 4, from 12.30pm, when Middlesbrough will be playing Fulham. Crews will be speaking to children and their parents in the club’s Generation Red Family Zone about bonfire and firework safety as well as putting messages on the big screen in the stadium. The Brigade’s community education vehicle and fire appliances will also be at the stadium to help promote the key safety messages.

The Brigades hard-hitting bonfire and firework safety campaign will run for four weeks and will involve other key organisations including Cleveland Police and local Councils. The campaign includes patrolling hot-spot areas in local communities and school visits.

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer said, “Although arson on the whole has reduced in our area, the period leading up to bonfire night and just after still continues to be one of the busiest times for us. Not only do these fires cause a nuisance to local people and greatly impact on the community as a whole, they tie up fire engines that should be undertaking vital life-saving prevention work or attending real emergencies.

Our key messages this year are:

• Don’t get involved in unofficial bonfires
• Report any unofficial bonfires to your local authority on the numbers provided
• Attend an official fireworks display if you can
• If you decide to hold your own fireworks display, always follow the Firework Code

“We want everyone to enjoy this year’s bonfire period but we want them to do it safely so our message is quite simple ‘Be Safe not Sorry’.

I would like to appeal to local residents and businesses to report unofficial bonfires to the contacts below:

• Stockton on Tees:
Email: dlsecsurvsupervisors@stockton.gov.uk
Normal hours call: 01642 607943
Out of office hours call: 01642 528989

• Middlesbrough:
Email: contactcentre@middlesbrough.gov.uk
Normal hours call: 01642 726001
Out of office hours call: 01642 726050
Street Wardens Control: 01642 228500

• Redcar and Cleveland:
Email: contactus@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk
Normal hours call: 01642 774774
Out of hours call: 01642774774
Coast and Country Properties
Normal hours call: 01642 771300
Out of hours call: 01642 771300

• Hartlepool:
Email: customer.service@hartlepool.gov.uk
Normal hours call: 01429 523333
Out of office hours call: 01429 869424

Organised local authority firework displays are as follows:

• Wednesday 5 November, Seaton Carew Front, Hartlepool, 4pm onwards, display starts at 6.30pm
• Wednesday 5 November, Stockton Riverside, 6pm onwards, display starts at 7.30pm

If anyone has any information about arson or anti-social behaviour in their area, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the Police on 101.

Boro skipper Jonathan Woodgate offered his support to the campaign when saying: “I remember when I was young I loved fireworks and never really thought about the dangers they can bring. I’m not saying don’t get involved with fireworks, what I am saying is if everyone acts responsibly they are great fun. Don’t spoil it for everyone, enjoy it with everyone.”

For further information and safety advice visit www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/bonfire