Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) is working with local partners and emergency services to help keep people safe this bonfire and fireworks season.

A recent poll revealed that 52% of UK adults in England and Wales will be holding private displays at home, with friends and family, this could pose significant risk to your property and those around you.

Group Commander Robert Hulatt said:

“We urge the public not to light bonfires in back gardens. Not only is it high risk to spread to sheds, fences and property, but the smoke produced is a threat to the environment and wildlife.”

Fireworks can also cause a great deal of distress to animals. In a recent survey, 62 per cent of dog owners reported their pets showing signs of distress during fireworks season, with 54 per cent of cat owners experiencing the same.

BFRS and the National Fire Chiefs Council are supporting the RSPCA’s Bang Out Of Order campaign, encouraging the responsible use of fireworks and the adoption of tighter regulations concerning their use.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer David Norris said:

“We would encourage our communities to think twice before having their own displays and lighting bonfires in their gardens this year.

“Not only do these present risks for residents and our crews, but with Covid-19 cases rising still we all have a responsibility to ensure we don’t put unnecessary strain on emergency services. Please show respect this bonfire night and think twice about having your own display.”

If you intend on buying fireworks for a home display, please follow the firework safety code:

  • Only buy fireworks marked with a CE mark
  • Don’t drink alcohol if you’re setting off fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions carefully when using them
  • Light them at arms’ length using a taper and stand well back
  • Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn’t gone off, it could still explode
  • Never throw fireworks, and never put them in your pocket
  • Respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws in place you must follow
  • Take care with sparklers – never give them to children under five. Even when they’ve gone out they’re still hot, so put sparklers in a bucket of water after use
  • Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening

For more information about firework safety, please visit the BFRS website.