The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is appealing for the public’s help to ensure that 2014’s Bonfire Night is the safest ever for Scotland:
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% increase throughout the period. SFRS is up to four times busier on 5 November than any other night of the year.
From 2009 to 2012, the number of secondary fires, which includes bonfires and refuse fires, averaged 1118. In 2013 there was a significant drop in this number to 517 bonfires on November 5th, with an overall drop in secondary fires of around 40% compared to 2012. SFRS aims to maintain and improve upon this decline in calls for Bonfire Night 2014.
The Service is appealing to the public to stay safe this Bonfire Night by attending organised events rather than staging their own bonfires or fireworks displays.
Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, Director of Prevention and Protection for the SFRS said: “This year we want Bonfire Night to be the safest one on record. I’d ask every member of the public who is thinking of holding their own bonfire or fireworks display to attend an organised event instead. These events are well organised, much more spectacular than a DIY display and most importantly it’s much safer for you, your family and friends.
“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 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.
“In the run up to Bonfire Night 2014 our Service personnel will be going to schools across Scotland to teach children about the dangers associated with bonfires and fireworks.
“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. 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.”
Daren Mochrie, Director of Service Delivery at the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “Every year our ambulance crews and hospital departments treat people for severe burns and other firework night related injuries. Fireworks are safe when used properly but the consequences can be tragic and life changing if the appropriate precautions are not followed and we recommend that people go along to a professionally organised display.
“In the event of someone suffering from a burn or scald, you should act quickly and:
- Stop the burning process as soon as possible. Do not put yourself at risk!
- Use cool water to cool a burn and reduce pain (no more than 30 mins of cooling and be aware of hypothermia due to prolonged cooling).
- Remove clothing and jewellery but do not remove burnt clothing that has stuck to skin.
- Do not use any creams or oils on injuries. Cover with a clean dressing or ideally cling film.
The majority of minor burns and scalds can be treated at home and if unsure you can contact NHS 24 on http://www.nhs24.com/SelfHelpGuide or phone 111 for further advice. If injuries are serious, seek urgent medical help and call 999 and ask for ambulance”.
Superintendent Danny Hatfield, Head of Prevention and Interventions, Police Scotland, said: “We want people to listen to safety advice and attend organised events so families can keep safe and enjoy the Bonfire celebrations. The best way of keeping safe is to attend official bonfire events which will also help reduce the number of unnecessary call outs for Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
“We can all play a part in making this time of year safer while having fun. Remember it is against the law for fireworks to be sold to children and young people. Please help us keep people safe by reporting any concerns to Police Scotland by calling 101.”
SFRS have produced lots of guidance and safety tips about Bonfire Night 2014, available online now at http://bit.ly/SFRSbonfire2014.
Advice includes information about bonfire and fireworks safety (including a bonfire and fireworks safety leaflet available for download) along with links to our TV, radio and press advertisements.
SFRS will be offering tips on staying safe in the lead up to Bonfire Night through our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.