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Firework safety warning ahead of bonfire night

A series of key messages around safety and the illegal sale of fireworks have been shared in the build-up to bonfire night.

17 October
Firework safety 2018

The West Lothian Community Safety Unit is made up of public organisations such as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Police Scotland and West Lothian Council.  Together, they are promoting safety and responsibility this bonfire period and reminding members of the West Lothian public what they should do should they encounter any suspicious activity.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Prevention & Protection Group Commander for West Lothian, Brian Robertson said: "The 5th of November is one of the busiest days of the year for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.  "Every year we work closely with our partners in West Lothian to minimise the risks and dangers associated with unsupervised bonfires and fireworks.

"Advice from the SFRS is to attend a safely organised bonfire and firework display. These displays are well planned and checked to ensure that no hazardous or dangerous materials are used on the bonfire. They are held well away from buildings, vehicles, trees, hedges, fences, power lines, telecommunications equipment and sheds and ensure that smoke produced does not cause a nuisance to the surrounding area or flying embers endanger neighbouring property.

Sergeant Vince Hughes from the West Lothian Community Policing Team said: " We have been working with our partners and local community groups since last year in an effort to reduce the antisocial Behaviour we observed by some youths last year.

"Dedicated teams of local officers will be on duty in the lead up to, and including Bonfire Night and will be engaging with young members of our communities to deter them from becoming involved in antisocial behaviour which could potentially lead to criminal activity. In addition, joint patrols with council colleagues will be undertaken to carry out environmental audits and remove any illegal bonfires or other items, which may be used for non-sanctioned bonfires.

"Our local resources will also be supported by specialist officers from Operation Moonbeam and these departments can be called upon at short notice should they be required.

"All  reports of dangerous and antisocial behaviour involving fireworks will be thoroughly investigated over the Bonfire Night period. We would like everyone to enjoy this period and not let a few selfish individuals spoil it for everyone. Please contact 101 with any concerns and information to ensure a safe night for everyone."

Executive councillor for services for the community, George Paul commented: "We want everyone to enjoy themselves around bonfire night but we wish this to happen in a safe and legal manner. This year our trading standards team will have  a particular focus on the illegal sale and distribution of fireworks and I would ask the public to share any information they may have with the police or trading standards so that it can be fully investigated. This can be done anonymously if requested.

Consideration must also be given to pets on and around Bonfire Night. Special care needs to be taken to ensure that your pets are protected from the stress and anxiety that is caused by fireworks."

If you encounter an unregistered bonfire that is already alight please contact the SFRS on 999.

To report illegal bonfires, illegal firework sales or any other suspicious activity please call 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

For more information from the council's Trading Standards and Waste Services team please visit the West Lothian Council website or you can report a concern or get advice by calling the council's customer service centre on 01506 280000.

Further guidance on how to keep animals safe during the bonfire period is also available via West Lothian Council.

For further advice on how to stay safe please visit the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website.



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