THE fire service has appealed to residents to snub out home-based firework and bonfire celebrations this year amid concerns over looming strike action later this week.
From Friday (October 31) West Sussex Fire and Rescue will be staging a four-day period of industrial action.
There will still be resources to respond major emergencies, the organisation said, however, these will be fewer than normal.
So, to help during this period the force is urging residents to attend organised bonfire and firework displays instead of hosting their own ones at home.
Jackie Boyle, community fire safety officer for the fire service, said: “The fireworks set off will be more spectacular than those people use in their garden and they are much safer.
“Traditionally, the firework season can be a busy time of year for fire services and this year it coincides with the most prolonged period of FBU (Fire Brigades Union) strike action since the start of the dispute. That means it is vitally important that people follow our safety advice and don’t take unnecessary risks.”
However, the force has offered some top safety tips for those wishing to hold their own firework or bonfire events at home.
. Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114
. Keep fireworks in a closed box
. Follow the instructions on each firework
. Light fireworks at arm’s 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, wear gloves and don’t give sparklers to children under five.
. 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.
. Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going - you run the risk of the fire flashing up and burning you.
. 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 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 click (http://www.westsussex.info/firework-displays.shtml| here}