Remember, remember to stay safe this 5th of November

Fireworks are fun, just remember to be safe too.

People in the county are being reminded by the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service on how to stay safe this bonfire weekend.

Celebrating bonfire night is always a great way to spend an evening. However there are some risks, especially if using fireworks and building bonfires at home.

Below is some helpful advice on how to stay safe at home this Guy Fawkes night.

Fireworks tips:
• When using fireworks at home, keep them in a closed metal box before use and take them out one at a time
• It may be a timely task, but always read the manufacturer’s instructions on each firework and read them by torchlight, not a naked flame
• If you’re lighting fireworks, do so at arm’s length using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick
• All smokers should avoid lighting up near fireworks
• Once you’ve lit your firework, stand back and don’t go back until its finished
• Just to be extra safe, keep a bucket of water handy
• It’s no secret that your pets don’t enjoy the bangs of fireworks; try to keep them inside in the warm
• Once the night has finished and it’s time to clear up, collect the used fireworks with care and douse with water before popping them in a metal container

Bonfire advice:
• If you’re building a bonfire at home, be sure that it’s well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs – and always away from fireworks
• Before lighting the bonfire, carry out a quick head count and make sure you know where all pets and children are
• Building the bonfire is half the fun, but be sure it’s stable
• When lighting your bonfire, never use flammable liquids like paraffin or petrol
• Be sure that you don’t have any foam-filled furniture, aerosols, and tins of paint or bottles on the bonfire
• Just like with fireworks, keep a bucket of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher close by
• Before the evening comes to a close, pour water on the embers and be sure it’s safely out

All the above risks can be made worse by the use of illegal fireworks. The fire service strongly urges people to check and double check that what they’ve bought is legitimate.

Every year, tonnes of illegal fireworks are seized nationally with a value in excess of £100,000. Illegal fireworks are capable of causing serious injury so consumers can never be too safe.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire safety, said: “If you’re looking for an easy bonfire night celebration, it is safer to attend an organised event. It’s probably going to be cheaper and more impressive as well. Whatever you decide, be sure to have fun and stay safe.”

John Beard, head of prevention and protection for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “If people are putting on their own firework display for friends and family, we’d ask them to make sure they follow the above safety advice and enjoy a responsible and fun evening.

“There is also a real danger around the use of illegal fireworks and it’s important that people realise the huge risks that surround them. It’s much safer, and easier, to visit a local display and let the professionals manage the risks.”