Stay safe and don't play with fire this Bonfire Night

Wednesday, 26 October, 2022

As the 5th of November draws closer, Community Safety Partners in East Dunbartonshire are urging people to keep safe this Bonfire Night. Bonfire
The community partners – East Dunbartonshire Council, Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service - are working together again this year to ensure the night runs safely.

This joined up approach aims to ensure safety by reducing disorder, minimising bonfires being built in dangerous locations causing harm, and decreasing levels of irresponsibility with fireworks.

The community partners have visited schools to educate young people on the dangers of the misuse of fireworks explaining to them how quickly fire can spread and giving tips on how to stay safe.

Councillor Paul Ferretti, Convener of Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets said, “Fireworks are an exciting and fun display for many, but it’s important to remember they can be extremely unsafe and should be used with caution. Therefore, attending an organised display is the safest way to enjoy Bonfire Night.

“We would like to remind everyone of the dangers of fireworks and bonfires that are not used correctly or that are left unattended pose – they are a huge threat to the safety of everyone.

“It’s also essential that we understand that the lead up to Bonfire Night and the night itself can be unnerving and stressful for some residents. This is why our Community Wardens will be working with Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to respond to any reports of anti-social behaviour through the incorrect use of fireworks and illicit bonfires. Furthermore, our Trading Standards Officers will be inspecting all premises that are licenced to sell fireworks.

“We should also all be mindful of animals during this time and the anxiety fireworks can cause them. Please show consideration towards pets and animals during the festivities, keep safe and enjoy this Bonfire Night sensibly.”

Local Senior Officer (LSO), Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Joe McKay said, “Bonfire Night is one of the busiest times of the year for our crews. Our advice is to attend organised events wherever possible, as this is the safest option.

“Last year, firefighters responded to more than 370 bonfires across the country during an eight-hour period on 5 November, and in the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night, from 8 October onwards, crews attended more than 880 deliberate secondary fires, including bin fires and grass fires. We have a zero-tolerance approach to deliberate fire setting, which can put properties and lives at risk.”

Community Inspector Alan Ferris added, “We have been working closely with key partners on our plans to keep communities across East Dunbartonshire safe from antisocial behaviour and fireworks-related disorder on the run up and throughout Bonfire Night. In addition to local policing resources, we will once again be supported by national and specialist colleagues as part of Police Scotland’s Operation Moonbeam.

“School Link Officers have been delivering inputs and engaging with young people to highlight the very real dangers and consequences of being involved in criminality around fireworks. We would ask that parents and guardians assist us by having frank conversations with young people in their care about these risks and what actions they could face if caught by police.

“It is now a criminal offence to purchase fireworks for anyone under the age of 18 and you can face a £5,000 fine, six months in prison, or both. Please don’t risk it. A new aggravator will also be added to charges brought against those who attack emergency service workers and this highlights how seriously any such offences are treated. Please help us make the Bonfire Night period as safe and enjoyable as possible for all members of our communities.”

Residents are reminded that it is against law to:

  • Light a fire in a public place if it endangers any other person (or property) or gives them reasonable cause for alarm or annoyance.
  • Possess fireworks if you are under 18 years old.
  • Fail to comply with the restrictions on the times that fireworks can be used by the general public.
  • Cause unnecessary suffering to animals.
  • Light fireworks before 6pm and after 11pm. This extends to midnight on the 5th November.

If you are planning to use fireworks this year, please follow advice from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and plan your night correctly. To find out more information visit RoSPA's website.

Please keep in mind:

  • To report any antisocial behaviour or unauthorised firework sellers call Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
  • Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contacted through the Crimestoppers website.
  • The SSPCA website has more information on keeping animals safe around fireworks.

For more on how to stay safe this Bonfire Night visit Fire Scotland's web page on fireworks and bonfire safety.

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