A PREDICTED increase in domestic firework displays has prompted a warning from county council chiefs.
With public bonfire night events cancelled this year, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) is reminding residents to stay safe if they are handling fireworks and lighting bonfires.
While the authority says it understands the need to keep traditions alive after a difficult year, residents must follow the firework code and public health guidelines.
With the sights, sounds and smells, bonfire night can be among the most exciting nights of the year. But it is also one of the busiest for emergency services due to the amount of small fires and firework related accidents.
Most happen due to the misuse of fireworks, using old or illegal fireworks from unlicensed sellers or failure to observe the firework code.
Residents are urged to only buy fireworks which comply with the British Standard, only allow adult to set fireworks off, follow instructions on each packet, supervise children around displays and sparklers, never go back to a lit firework and not to let off fireworks after 11pm or midnight on bonfire night.
Some fireworks on sale to the public are too powerful for the average-sized garden, and should only be used in large gardens or in fields. Trading Standards suggest before buying, residents should ask the retailer about safe distances, instructions, and the ideal firework size for your garden.
Category F1 and F2 fireworks are ideal for garden displays, noise levels are lower for these products and they can be used in smaller gardens.
WCC’s fire and community safety spokesman Andy Crump said: “We don’t want people to miss out on bonfire night, but we also want to remind residents to be responsible and stay safe while celebrating. To stay safe, only buy fireworks which comply with the British Standard, keep them in a closed box and follow all instructions closely. Please don’t use fireworks that are too powerful for your garden, supervise pets and children and, if you are having a bonfire, build it clear of buildings, sheds, fences and trees.
“Make sure you do follow our safety advice and have bonfire night go off with a bang for all the right reasons.”
Families are also urged to follow health guidelines including social distancing with those outside your household, washing hands and keeping to the rule of six.
WCC’s director of Public Health Dr Shade Agboola said: “We appreciate we are facing a particularly difficult time at the moment, with cases of covid-19 rising across the county. We still want you to celebrate bonfire night, but we’re asking you to find new ways to mark it within the existing covid guidelines to keep you, your family and friends safe.
“Remember that you can still only gather in groups of up to six, if you are having people over to your home from different households, keep your distance, use separate glassware, crockery and cutlery and wash your hands regularly.
“It’s important to be aware that if you’re doing something that increases your contacts, then you are increasing your risk to covid 19. If we all do the right thing for Warwickshire and play our part, then we can still enjoy bonfire night with our loved ones, while keeping everyone safe.”
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/celebratesafely for firework advice and www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest virus guidance.