Keep safe this Bonfire Night plea from West Yorkshire firefighters as service drafts in extra resources for days around November 5

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is bringing in extra resources to help keep people safe this Bonfire Night.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 1:12 pm
Firefighters are urging people to stay safe this Bonfire Night

With coronavirus restrictions lifted, the annual festivities offer a different picture from last year with dozens of organised events to be held around West Yorkshire, providing a safer alternative to fires and fireworks at home, says the service.

Firefighters are working with local partners including councils, West Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Ambulance Service so everyone across the region can enjoy the days surrounding November 5.

To help maintain maximum public safety, the service will draft in additional resources in the days leading up to and after Bonfire Night.

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Bonfires that are safely managed will be allowed to continue, but they are warning that those posing a danger to people or buildings may be extinguished.

The service will be working with local partners to provide educational school talks for young people and firefighters will conduct spot checks with councils to remove fly tipping that could be targeted for arson.

Unfortunately, around Bonfire Night the fire service says there are often reports of anti-social behaviour. They are encouraging residents to help them, help communities by challenging this behaviour in friends and family.

Area Manager for Service Delivery, Scott Donegan, said: “Following the bonfire cancellations last year, we want people to go out and enjoy what promises to be a fun time of year across our region, however, our priority is that people reduce any risk to themselves, others and celebrate safely!

“If possible, it’s best to go to an organised event as the bonfires and firework shows are bigger and more spectacular, as well as of course being much safer. But if you do plan to have a bonfire in your own garden then please follow our guidance.

“That includes only adults buying fireworks, and only from a reputable retailer. Read and follow the Fireworks Code. Think carefully about where you place your bonfire, how you will keep it under control and how you’ll make sure both adults and youngsters are safe around the fireworks and the flames.

“Staying safe with sparklers is crucial. Sparklers should never be given to a child under five, must always be held at arm’s length and in a gloved hand. Once they have gone out put sparklers in bucket of water or sand.”

Chief Superintendent Daniel Greenwood, commander of West Yorkshire Police’s operation for Halloween and Bonfire Night, said: “Whilst concerns around Covid-19 remain present and a number of organised events will not be going ahead, we do anticipate this Autumn will see a return to traditional levels of activities such as trick or treating and Bonfire Night gatherings.

“I want everyone to enjoy both evenings in the right way and simply ask everyone to be considerate of particularly elderly or vulnerable members of the community who may be more affected by the noise and activities this time of year brings."

Chief Superintendent Greenwood added that while both evenings were among the busiest for police, officers would be patrolling to offer reassurance to residents.

“If anyone is concerned for their safety or has witnessed anti-social or criminal behaviour then I urge them to contact the police using 999 if it is an emergency or 101 or online methods if not," he said.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is hosting its own Bonfire and Fireworks Extravaganza on Saturday, November 6 to provide a safe place for people to join in the celebrations, while raising funds for the Fire Fighters Charity.

Gates will open at 5pm with a large bonfire to be lit at 6.30pm. An autism and young children-friendly mini-firework display will be held from 7pm to 7.30pm, with the main display going off at 8.15pm.

To keep the event COVID-secure, places are limited, so visitors are asked to arrive early to guarantee entry.

The event will be held at Fire Service HQ in Birkenshaw. There is no parking provision.

Family tickets (for up to two adults and three children) are £25. On the gate, admission is £8 for adults and £5 for children. For more information email [email protected]