South Wales Fire Service are getting prepared ahead of a busy bonfire night and urging the public to stay home and stay safe on November 5th.
The service released a statement on their website ahead of the late Autumn holiday, addressing the changed nature of the occasion this year due to the pandemic and asking the public not to put additional pressure on our emergency services while celebrating at home.
In their statement the Fire Service said:
"Last year, between 23th October and 6th November we attended 150 deliberate fires – a 50% decrease since 2018. We’d like to keep this number decreasing as attending firework and bonfire misuse incidents can cost lifesaving minutes in our firefighters getting to other emergencies.
"Fireworks and bonfires can be extremely dangerous if not managed and handled correctly. Please don’t put your loved ones or local community at risk, fires can spread and become out of control in a matter of seconds, risking damage to property, injury and even death. Firework and bonfire misuse related incidents can cost lifesaving minutes in our firefighters getting to other emergencies."
The service also warned of the dangers of fireworks and the social responsibilities which should be upheld when holding a firework show, saying:
"Fireworks can frighten people and animals. The elderly and children are frequently scared and intimidated by firework noise. After all, fireworks are explosives. Tell your neighbours if you’re a planning on letting off fireworks and avoid purchasing really noisy ones. Fire smoke can also irritate airways, the skin and eyes, causing coughing, wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. People with asthma and other respiratory diseases may become unwell because of fire smoke. These people are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Please don’t make things worse for them, the NHS, or the emergency services.
"Fireworks can also cause a great deal of distress to animals. In a recent survey, 62% of dog owners reported their pets showing signs of distress during fireworks season, with 54% of cat owners experiencing the same."
Head of Fire Crime and Home Safety, Group Manager Paul Mason said:
“This time of year is always fun and we want to make sure that everyone can enjoy the celebrations safely. Our message is simple – be sensible and look after yourselves and each other so that you don’t require our services during your evening. We attend many unsupervised fires and injuries caused by fireworks and out of control bonfires. Fireworks and bonfires are a lot of fun but it’s very important to be cautious and to enjoy the celebrations responsibly. Acting irresponsibly around fires and fireworks can have devastating consequences, can cause life threatening injuries and can even cost lives.”
When using fireworks remember to follow the firework code: