Fire chiefs plea to Burnley, Pendle and Ribble Valley people to buy fireworks responsibly on first day they go on sale to public
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With all organised displays cancelled due to the pandemic fire bosses fear that many people will try and hold a DIY display in their garden.
So Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) is asking residents to ensure they buy suitable products meant for garden use.
However the service is asking people to consider a few things before they do.
A spokesman for LFRS said: "There are lots of different types of fireworks and you should check that the different sizes are suitable for the size of your garden.
"Category two and three are only for sale for the public for outdoor use. They can be purchased from reputable retailers (who will have a licence for trade) but must carry the CE mark which is the safety standard that all fireworks should meet."
Fireworks cannot be sold to under 18s and there are strict laws and fines in place both for the retailer and those in possession of fireworks.
It is also important to ensure they are stored safely between now and Bonfire Night, on November 5th, which means out of reach of children and young people, secure, where they cannot get damp and also away from other sources of ignition and combustibles.
The spokesman added: "We understand that people will be looking for alternative ways to celebrate this year and will likely host bonfire celebrations at their homes.
"However we are urging people to please stay safe. Whilst most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause real misery.
"Remember that fireworks are explosives, and as such should be treated with respect and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
" We are currently amidst a global pandemic and we are asking people not to take risks, putting additional pressures on our emergency services. Injuries can be prevented by following the firework code."
Rules of the Firework Code are:
* Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm (or midnight on Bonfire Night)
* Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time.
* Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.
* Place on a stable surface, light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back.
* Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
* Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
* Dispose of fireworks by soaking in a bucket of water for several hours, bag it and bin in your usual black bin once completely cool.
* Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
* Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
* Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
* Do not burn household rubbish or white goods on a bonfire. Keep your bonfire within a cordon area away from fireworks, people, property and trees and never light using flammable liquid. Check for animals hiding before lighting.
* Keep pets indoors and ensure children are safe and a good distance away from the fireworks.
* Pour water on bonfire embers to ensure it is fully extinguished before leaving or going to bed.
* If using sparklers ensure they are held in a gloved hand at arm’s length and there is a bucket of water to put them in once the sparkler is out.
Fire chiefs have also reminded the public it is important to ensure that if you are having a bonfire display at home that you are following local and national lockdown measures and refrain from mixing with other households.
The spokesman added: "Another reason to consider not having a home display is that fireworks can frighten people and animals.
"The elderly and children are frequently scared and intimidated by firework noise.
"Tell your neighbours if you’re a planning on letting off fireworks and avoid purchasing really noisy ones.
"We’ve also celebrated a number of centenary and anniversary dates recently such as VE Day and 100 years since the end of the first world war in 2019.
"With such huge respect shown on these anniversary dates for our veterans and serving military personnel please consider how scary the setting of fireworks could be for someone from a military background or for someone who suffers the affects of PTSD.
"Please be considerate."
Lancashire Fire and Rescue is supporting the RSCPA's 'Bang Out Of Order' campaign which encourages the responsible use of fireworks and the adoption of tighter regulations concerning their use.
It is well documented that fireworks can cause a great deal of distress to pets and animals and 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.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is also offering schools the chance to sign up to its free ‘Bright Sparx’ educational package between which will be held virtually between October 5th and November 4th
To sign up and choose a date please email: [email protected]
The service will also be sharing alternative ways to celebrate this year on their social channels in the lead up to Bonfire Night and Hallowe'en and also have some exciting plans in place at its training centre that are being kept under wraps at the moment.
The spokesman added: "Ultimately fireworks, whilst pretty to look at, are very dangerous and can cause serious harm and distress.
"Amid this pandemic and our need to look after one another we’re asking Lancashire to show some respect this Bonfire Night.
"Let’s Do It For Lancashire."