West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is urging people to play it safe by going to an organised bonfire and firework display this year.
Last year firefighters extinguished 248 fires outdoors between November 1 and 9. These included anything from grass fires to wheelie bins and rubbish.
Twenty-four of these were bonfires which were out of control.
WYFRS support staff are already pounding the pavements alongside council teams in a bid to clear the streets of anything which arsonists might set alight and prevention staff have educated children in a number of schools of the dangers associated with fire and fireworks.
Chris Kirby, Area Manager for Fire Safety, said: “We want everyone to enjoy the bonfire season responsibly and we believe organised bonfires and firework displays are the safest option.
“A great deal of work goes into preparing neighbourhoods for the bonfire period, in order to clear any potential fuel for arsonists. Fires in the open don’t only post a serious risk to the public, but they also take our crews away from other potentially life-threatening incidents.”
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s advice can be viewed their website at http://www.westyorksfire.gov.uk/campaign/bonfire-and-firework-safety/ and Bonfire Night safety messages will be tweeted out using the #WYBonfire hashtag.
The main safety points are as:
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.
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.
You cannot buy fireworks under the age of 18.
You can be fined or imprisoned for buying or using fireworks illegally.
Only children over the age of five are allowed to use sparklers and should be supervised by an adult at all times.
Chief Superintendent Dickie Whitehead, of West Yorkshire Police said: “The period around bonfire night can see an increase in incidents of anti-social behaviour, particularly through the misuse of fireworks.
“We will be working closely with our partners to take preventative measures and combine this with robust enforcement.”
The Force has created a ‘Don’t Fool with Fireworks’ poster, warning how anti-social behaviour involving fireworks can lead to an £80 fine.