As the nights draw in, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) are sharing fire safety messages in the lead up to two of the biggest nights in the Autumnal calendar.
As well as the final half term in 2022, there is Halloween and Bonfire Night to look forward to. These two dates are renowned for big events, large groups of people being outside and lots of fun. To ensure these events continue to be a highlight during the darkest and coldest months of the year, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service share their top safety advice.
- Plastic capes and bin liners are often used as costumes – keep them away from candles or other naked flames
- Use battery operated lights within homemade lanterns and pumpkins. Battery operated lights are much safer than candles
- Take extra care with candles – they are extremely hazardous. If the candle tips over it could set light to materials such as costumes, curtains, clothes and furniture and start a serious fire. Make sure they are extinguished properly before leaving the house or going to bed and are out of reach from children
- Buy fancy dress costumes from reputable retailers. Dressing up costumes are currently classed as toys under British Toy Safety Regulations, meaning they are less fire resistant than children’s nightclothes and assume a child is able to move away from or drop a burning toy. The British Retail Consortium introduced more stringent flammability tests and labelling in 2017 for these costumes, which were endorsed by the National Fire Chiefs Council and others such as Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the Children’s Burns Trust. Many reputable high street retailers and children’s costume manufacturers in the UK signed up to this more robust voluntary code
- Costumes should comply with EN71 – a European-wide standard, which tests for flammability. It should also have a CE mark, which means the product complies with European health and safety requirements
- Check costumes are labelled as flame-resistant
- In an emergency, cool any burns with water and call 999
- Respect the wishes of people who don’t wish to take part in trick or treating and look out for vulnerable family and neighbours who may be on their own
- Keep to pavements and cross roads carefully when trick or treating
- Motorists should watch out for children walking on roadways and curbs, and enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
If clothing does catch on fire remember to stop, drop and roll. And remember you can always call 999 and ask for the fire service if it is an emergency.
- Only buy fireworks from a reputable shop and ensure they are CE marked. Keep them in a closed metal box and ensure you follow the instructions carefully
- Place fireworks on a stable surface and light at arm’s length using a taper, stand well back and never throw nor go back to a lit firework
- 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
Kirsty McCreesh, Group Manager for Prevention at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, says:
“At Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, we want everyone to enjoy Bonfire Night but also be safe. We recommend you go to an organised display to enjoy a bonfire and firework display this year.
Fireworks can be great fun for the whole family, but they can also be dangerous. This is one of the reasons we don’t recommend you light bonfires and fireworks at home.
Organised events are run by professionals. They have proper safety precautions in place, such as barriers and first aid points. This makes it much safer for you and your loved ones to enjoy a bonfire and a fireworks display.
Fireworks are loud and bright, and this can be distressing for some people and also for pets. Going to an organised display instead of setting fireworks off at home means that your neighbours and their pets will not be distressed by all the lights and noise.
If you do want to set off fireworks at home, please tell your neighbours beforehand so they can prepare themselves. This can make a big difference so that everyone can enjoy Bonfire Night.”