With many people celebrating Bonfire Night this weekend, police are urging residents to prepare properly for celebrations - a particularly busy time for the emergency services.
Typically calls to the 999 service increase by around 30 per cent around Bonfire Night - to minimise the need to involve emergency services, people are advised to take some sensible precautions.
Tom Donohoe of the Communications Department at West Yorkshire Police issued the following message to the people of West Yorkshire.
“We want the public to work with us to help everyone enjoy the celebrations: parents in particular should keep a close eye on what their children are doing,
“Around Bonfire Night the phone lines are placed under great strain because of the sheer volume of calls received. If people have a genuine emergency then they should always ring 999.
“No one under the age of 18 is allowed to buy fireworks. If anyone has concerns about shops selling fireworks to younger children then they should ring Trading Standards via Consumer Direct or their local police.”
In the lead up to bonfire weekend and on the night itself:
•If you a see a bonfire getting out of hand, call the Fire Service.
•If someone needs emergency medical assistance, call for an ambulance.
•If you see a store selling fireworks to people you believe are under 18, contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.
The 999 number (for Fire, Police or Ambulance) is for emergencies only. This number should only be used if there is a genuine emergency, where people may be injured or there is a threat to life.
Chris Joyce, Force Crime Prevention Officer for West Yorkshire Police said: “We are working in partnership with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, and other agencies to keep communities safe during the build up to and during the bonfire period.
“If fireworks are used in a sensible and supervised manner, they can be enjoyed by everyone. However, at this time of year, they can also cause problems if they are used inappropriately.
“We will clamp down on those who do flout the law and I would ask anyone who has information about people using or supplying or using fireworks illegally to contact the non emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Fire/firework safety advice Courtesy of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue:
•Keep bonfires small and manageable and build them away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and bushes
•Never use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire
•Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children – and keep pets indoors
•Avoid drinking alcohol whilst in charge of a bonfire or fireworks and particularly when supervising children
•In case of an emergency, keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready
•Make sure your fireworks conform to British Standards BS 7114, EN 14035 or EN 15947
•Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time
•Light the firework at arm’s length using a taper or fuse wick and stand well back -never return to a firework once it has been lit.
•Never give sparklers to a child
Read more at http://www.westyorksfire.gov.uk/news/take-extra-care-during-bonfire-season