Local schoolchildren will team up with Cleveland firefighters later this week (Friday 18 October) to launch a major campaign to promote bonfire and firework safety, so people stay safe, not sorry.
This announcement comes as statistics show that during October and November 2012, there were a total of 385 deliberate rubbish fires across Cleveland – many of which were unofficial bonfires. These incidents of arson cost the Brigade a massive £758,480.
Youngsters from Lingfield Primary School in Marton, Middlesbrough will play their part in a simulated firework incident in front of fellow pupils, to help get across key safety messages in the run-up to Bonfire Night next month.
During the event fire, police, ambulance and trading standards officers will also address children about bonfire safety, and pupils will receive prizes following a firework safety poster competition.
Cleveland Fire Brigade’s hard-hitting campaign will run for four weeks and will involve other key organisations including Cleveland Police, North East Ambulance Service and local councils. The campaign includes patrolling hot-spot areas in local communities, school visits, a poster competition, leaflets, diversionary activities for youngsters, leaflets and online activities.
Brigade bosses are also calling on local residents and businesses to play their part in reducing the number of incidents by following some simple advice.
Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Over the last few years we have been very successful in reducing the number of deliberate fires, but the period leading up to, during and after Bonfire Night continues to be one of the busiest times of the year for us.
“The Brigade will not relent in its efforts as once again we will be working closely with our key partners. Our message is quite simple – be safe not sorry and:
- Don’t get involved in unofficial bonfires
- Report any unofficial bonfires to your local council
- Attend an official fireworks display if you can
- If you decide to hold your own firework display, always follow the Firework Code
“Local residents and businesses have been extremely supportive in reporting unofficial bonfires and we appeal for their support once again to help us stop arson, because enough is enough.”
People can report unofficial bonfires or discarded rubbish by contacting their local council.