Make sure you are safe and sound on bonfire night

JOIN the fight against fire and help protect your community around bonfire night - that was the message this week from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.

Every year careless bonfires take firefighters away from other incidents – putting lives at risk.

By choosing to attend only official bonfire events, residents will help keep people, property and vital resources safe.

Assistant chief officer Lewis Ramsay, director of community safety for Strathclyde Fire & Rescue (SFR), said: “I would urge the public to attend official bonfire events this year and join the fight against fire.

“Not only is it the best way to stay safe, but careless bonfires take crews away from serious incidents in our communities – so choosing to attend organised events will protect people, property and ensure our firefighters can get to where they are most needed.”

During the bonfire period, firefighters can be three times as busy as normal.

Having to tackle bonfires means it could take crews longer to attend serious fires, with potentially tragic consequences.

Last year, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue responded to 563 incidents on November 5 alone – showing the massive impact careless bonfires have on every community’s fire cover.

Careless bonfires also see public money go up in smoke.

In the three weeks leading up to bonfire night, SFR receives more than 1,500 emergency calls to put out fires involving bonfire material, rubbish bins, refuse skips and unoccupied buildings – many of which spread to houses and businesses.

Strathclyde Fire & Rescue has launched an innovative community safety campaign, calling on the public to be active citizens and help protect vulnerable neighbours and relatives from fire.

The cost of bonfires and fireworks to the taxpayer, homes and businesses is massive – but they also ruin lives.

Over the past five years more than 350 pre-school children, some as young as one-year-old, were treated in hospital for firework injuries.

This year sees the biggest-ever official fireworks display in the area, with more than 5,000 fireworks to be used in the display at nearby Clydebank.

The free event, to be held in Dalmuir Park on Tuesday, November 6, begins at 7pm.

If you do hold your own event you should follow the fireworks code – available on the Strathclyde Fire & Rescue website.