STRIKING firefighters have led West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to urge people not to hold firework displays at home.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced two periods of national strike action.
The first is scheduled to take place on Friday (November 1) between 6.30pm and 11pm – a time when West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said many people may be attending or holding bonfire and firework celebrations.
It will continue to provide an emergency response during the industrial action, but will have fewer resources available.
Jackie Boyle, community fire safety officer said: “The firework season is traditionally a busy time of year for the fire service, so we’re calling for people to help prevent emergencies by attending, wherever possible, a properly organised community bonfire and firework event.
“The fireworks set off will be more spectacular than those people use in their garden and they are much safer.
“If anyone can’t attend an organised event and is planning a firework party at home, then please follow some basic precautions to make sure you and your family stay safe.”
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offered the following safety advice:
- Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114
- Keep fireworks in a closed box
- Follow the instructions on each firework
- Light fireworks at arms length using a taper
- Stand well back
- Never go back to a lit firework - even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode
- Never throw fireworks or put them in your pocket
- Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
- Don’t give sparklers to children under five
- Keep pets safely indoors
- Stay in full control if you’re lighting fireworks - avoiding alcohol is the safest option
- Let your neighbours know you are planning to have a bonfire or they may end up dialling 999
- Build your bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees
- Avoid having a bonfire in windy conditions - it increases the likelihood of the fire spreading out of control
- Don’t build it too big, and make sure it is stable
- Don’t burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint - they can produce toxic fumes or explode
- Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going - it can get out of control quickly
- Don’t leave your bonfire unattended or leave it smoulder when you have finished - make sure it is fully extinguished
For information on organised bonfire and firework displays in West Sussex visit www.westsussex.info/firework-displays.shtml.
Further safety information and advice is available at www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire.