The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is underlining the dangers of private fireworks displays as large-scale public Bonfire Night events are being cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The service is discouraging private, unregulated bonfires and firework events in gardens or community areas due to their risk to children and upset of pets.
Glasgow Life announced the city’s largest Bonfire Night celebration at Glasgow Green has been cancelled with other cities across Scotland following suit.
The SFRS also said un-monitered private fires and fireworks can further impact on the emergency services – firefighters attended more than 2,300 deliberate fires during the four-week period leading to Bonfire Night 2019.
Deputy assistant chief officer (DACO) Alasdair Perry, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s head of prevention and protection, said: “First and foremost we would urge all of our communities to follow advice and guidelines around social distancing to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“We know this means that people may consider hosting their own events this year but we would urge caution around doing so because every year people are injured by fireworks and admitted to hospital – and children are particularly at risk.”
He continued: “This is already a traditionally busy period of the year for ourselves and our partners and it is very important that we maintain an ability to respond to other emergencies.
“We are therefore strongly encouraging anyone who does wish to host a private event to reduce the risk by ensuring to familiarise themselves with our firework code and fire safety guidance. Do not take risks because the consequences can be devastating.”
November 5 is traditionally a busy night for the SFRS.
Last year, Operations Control received 882 calls from members of the public and crews also responded to more than 350 bonfires within an eight-hour period – with six recorded attacks on firefighters.
The SFRS is also calling on communities to avoid gatherings not in line with the Government’s current Coronavirus restrictions.
The safety message was also backed by community safety minister, Ash Denham.
She said: “Bonfire Night this year is going to feel very different and at this usual time for celebration I urge everyone to follow to the Scottish Government’s public health guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19).
“It is absolutely vital the public adhere to the rules on meeting up with other households to help stop the spread of the virus.
“The SFRS and all emergency service workers have my complete support, particularly over the busy bonfire season.
“If you are planning to use fireworks please ensure you do this responsibly and safely and follow the appropriate advice on the SFRS website.”
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