Fire service hopes for safe - not sorry - bonfire night

The fire service has released safety advice in a bid to protect those building bonfires at home for tonight’s firework celebrations.

The fire service is urging people to be safe, not sorry, this bonfire night.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service say following a few simple steps could help prevent a bonfire from becoming uncontrollable.

The fire brigade is also asking people to check bonfires for wildlife before lighting.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Bonfires always present certain hazards, but more so when it is dark.


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“Fire can spread easily, so where and how you build your bonfire is important.

“Hibernating animals - wild creatures such as hedgehogs, and pets such as tortoises, often find bonfires very attractive. The piles of warm dry material look like a good prospect for a long winter’s sleep.

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“If your bonfire is a small one, check it thoroughly, in daylight but as late as you can before lighting it.”

The fire service has released the following safety advice:

• Site the bonfire, well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs and always away from fireworks.

• Before lighting the fire check that no pets or even a young child hiding inside it.

• Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side.

• Never use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire

• don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols, and tins of paint or bottles

• Keep everyone a safe distance away, and do not allow anyone to throw anything onto it

• Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children, who must be supervised all the time. Loose clothing can very easily catch alight and should never be worn near any fire. Long scarves can be risky too

• In case of an emergency keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready

• Pour water on the embers before leaving.

Further information about bonfire safety and the law can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/InYourHome/Escapingandrecoveringfromafire/DG_180786

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