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London Fire Brigade issues firework safety advice

London Fire Brigade are urging people to be aware of fire safety during Bonfire Night and the firework season
Be safe during firework season
Remember, remember, stay safe in November

With 5 November fast approaching London Fire Brigade (LFB) is urging people to act safely and responsibly during the firework and bonfire season, and to remember to be wary at all time of the need for fire safety.

The Brigade expects to be called to hundreds of incidents on and around Bonfire Night this year - ranging from out of control bonfires to fires caused by fireworks.

Brand new figures released by the Brigade show that the number of fires in London vastly increases at this time of year.

Figures taken from the last three years reveal that on Bonfire Night: 

  • Firefighters receive and attend twice as many calls than an average day
  • The number of secondary fires (less serious fires, for instance an out of control bonfire), are five times higher than normal
  • Firefighters attend twice as many primary (more serious) fires than on an average day
  • On Bonfire Night fireworks cause around 20 more serious, primary fires (on an average day fireworks cause less than 1% of primary fires)

London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner for Community Safety, Andy Hickmott, said: "These statistics should serve to remind everyone to take extra care at this time of year. Fireworks can be spectacular but essentially they are explosives and can cause serious injuries if handled irresponsibly.

A trip to hospital or wrecked property will certainly make you remember the 5th of November, but for all the wrong reasons.

It's safer to attend an organised event but if you are having your own celebration use some basic common sense - never play with fireworks, only adults should handle and fireworks and when you're watching them - stand well back. It goes without saying that you should never go near a firework that's been lit, even if it's not gone off."

The Brigade also advises Londoners to follow the firework code and some other key safety tips:

  • Only buy fireworks marked with the British Standard Kitemark BS7114
  • Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box, and always follow the instructions carefully when using them
  • Light at arms length using a taper and stand well back
  • Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if it hasn't gone off, it could still explode
  • Never throw fireworks and never put them in your pocket
  • Respect your neighbours - don't let fireworks off late at night
  • Take care with sparklers - never give them to children under five. Even when they have gone out they are still hot so put them in a bucket of water after use
  • Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening
  • Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges
  • Never use flammable liquids to help start a bonfire and never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries
  • Don't leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with water
  • Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of emergency

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