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Firework safety warning ahead of bonfire night

West Lothian Community Safety Partnership is urging the public to stay safe and heed key fire safety messages.

31 October
Firework safety 2018

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) Prevention & Protection Group Manager 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.

Executive councillor for services for the community, George Paul commented:  "We are urging local people to follow the fireworks code.  The instructions are on the box and it is worth taking a few minutes to remind yourself and prepare before your event starts.  The council's Waste Services and Trading Standards teams have also issued advice in an effort to help our communities to stay safe."

Sergeant William Hagart of the local area command support unit, said: "Every year we work with our partners to raise awareness of the risks and dangers associated with unsupervised bonfires and fireworks.  We want everyone to have fun but first and foremost to stay safe and if possible to attend a community organised event. To reduce the number of incidents this year we are encouraging everyone to take responsibility for their displays".

Group Manager Robertson added: "Unfortunately, last year there were a number of Acts of Violence on attending SFRS crews' ranging from fireworks being thrown at staff to verbal abuse.

"Deliberate fire setting and attacks on emergency service workers is an offence and we would encourage people to report any information relating to individuals, who may be responsible, to Police Scotland using the 101 non-emergency number."

Ed Machin, Trading Standards Manager, explained: "We want people to enjoy fireworks, but please remember they cannot be used outside the hours of 7am to 11pm. The exception to this is on Monday 5th November itself when they can be used until midnight. Shop keepers are reminded that, unless they have a special all-year selling licence, they can only sell fireworks between 15 October and 10 November.

"We want people to enjoy fireworks. Minimising the risk of injury and reducing the nuisance factor of fireworks will ensure that the fireworks season can be enjoyable for all.  However I want to remind businesses who sell fireworks that fireworks should only be sold to people of 18 years or older."

To help reduce the risk of waste  containers being set on fire in the period around Tuesday 5th November, the council's Waste Services team is asking  residents to only present wheeled bins and food waste caddies on the actual uplift day by 7am and take them off the street as soon as possible after they are emptied.  In addition, if you have a bulky uplift organised please present it on the correct day and follow the instructions given.

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

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