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Fire crews urge caution ahead of bonfire night

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue are urging anyone putting on firework displays at home to take precautions in order to avoid accidents.

Figures show the number of people admitted to A&E after being injured by a firework has more than doubled in less than a decade.

Fire crews are warning that if safety advice is not followed, fun celebrations can soon turn to disaster.

The service says A few simple precautionary safety measures can help ensure that everyone stays safe and can enjoy the celebrations without injury or harm.

During Bonfire Night you should:

  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box and take them out one at a time.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on each firework.  Read the instructions by torch light and not a naked flame and always buy fireworks from a reputable source.
  • Light fireworks at arm’s length using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick - Stand back after lighting.
  • NEVER go back to a firework once lit, it still has the potential to go off.
  • Collect used fireworks with care, douse with water and bury them or place in a metal container.
  • Keep children and pets away from fireworks and bonfires.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Take care with sparklers – young children should not handle these.
  • NEVER throw fireworks.
  • NEVER keep fireworks in your pocket.
  • Keep a bucket of water handy.

If you must light a bonfire, follow these safety tips:

  • Site the bonfire well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees, shrubs and well away from your fireworks
  • Before lighting, make sure there are no animals hiding inside.
  • Be careful when building the bonfire so it does not collapse once lit.
  • Don’t burn foam filled furniture, aerosols, tins of paint, or bottles.
  • NEVER use flammable liquids such as paraffin or petrol to light the fire.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fire.
  • In case of emergency, keep buckets of water, a garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready.
  • When the party is over, pour water on the embers before leaving.

Group Manager Rob Taylor said: “Private bonfire parties and firework displays have the potential to be great fun if safety is kept in mind.  However, a stray firework, or an out of control bonfire can soon lead to disaster.

“There are numerous organised displays to choose from, and I would recommend that anyone who wants to enjoy a safe hassle free Bonfire Night attend one of these, where they can relax and enjoy the spectacle safely and without risk.

“If you are still planning on having a private bonfire party, I would strongly advise that you follow our bonfire safety tips to ensure the safety of you, your guests and your property.”

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