Angus urged to keep Bonfire Night safest ever

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has issued a list of safety tips for Bonfire Night.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has issued a list of safety tips for Bonfire Night.

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The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is appealing to the public in Angus to help ensure 2015’s Bonfire Night is the safest-ever.

Bonfire Night is traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year for the SFRS with the number of emergency calls typically seeing a 40 per cent increase throughout the period.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is up to four times busier on November 5 than any other night of the year.

From 2009 to 2013, the number of secondary fires across Scotland (outdoor fires including grassland and refuse fires) during the bonfire period averaged 2,668. In 2014 there was a further drop in this number, reducing the average to 2,500 over the monitoring period, with an overall reduction in secondary fires of 54 per cent compared to 2009.

SFRS aims to maintain and improve on this, decreasing incidents over the autumn/bonfire period in 2015 – but firefighters need the public’s help to achieve this.

SFRS would urge the public to only attend organised events this Bonfire Night and stay safe, rather than staging bonfires or fireworks displays themselves.

SFRS’s Group Manager for Angus, Billy McLintock, said: “We would urge everyone who is thinking of holding their own bonfire or fireworks display to attend an organised event instead.

“These events are professionally organised, much more spectacular than a DIY display and most importantly it’s much safer for you, your family and your friends – we want you to have fun and stay safe.

“We want everyone to be able to celebrate on 5 November and have fun but in a safe way that doesn’t require the intervention of the emergency services.

“When our crews are called to attend bonfires it means we have to divert resources away from other emergencies and life-threatening calls – that could end tragically for anyone who truly needs our urgent help.

“We can all play a part in making this time of year safer. It is against the law for fireworks to be sold to children and young people. If you are aware of this happening please report it to Police Scotland or Trading Standards.”

He added: “We would also encourage the public to report unsafe or dangerous bonfires or bonfire materials and any suspicions of deliberate fire setting. In doing this, we can keep our communities safer together.

“The public are requested to pass on any information about who may be responsible for fire setting to Police Scotland using the 101 non-emergency number or Scotland Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.”

SFRS have produced lots of guidance and safety tips about Bonfire Night 2015, available online now at http://bit.ly/SFRSbonfire2015. Advice includes information about bonfire and fireworks safety (including a bonfire and fireworks safety leaflet available for download).