Remember safety comes first on plot night, says fire chief

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THE public is being urged to be safe this bonfire night.

Caught up in all the fun and enjoyment that traditionally happens on November 5, people can often forget about safety. But, Geoff Shaw, Watch Manager at Todmorden Fire Station, is urging people to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe on Saturday, while still having fun.

“I’d urge people to keep pets inside and don’t go back to a firework which may not have gone off yet,” he said. “Also keep children attended at all times and if you have any concerns at all with the size of a bonfire, then call 999 straight away.”

Group Manager Nigel Hotson, Calderdale District Commander, urged people to be vigilant during the bonfire period and ensure wheelie bins and rubbish are not left out for arsonists, and not left next to buildings.

He said: “Arson places a considerable strain on the fire and rescue service. Each deliberate fire costs the tax payer nearly £2,000. More importantly, they have the potential to spread, causing serious damage to property and even death.”

Every year the ambulance service is called to a number of patients who have firework and bonfire-related injuries, and this year will be no exception.

Dr David Macklin, Associate Medical Director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “Around the bonfire night period, our ambulance crews will treat a number of patients, children and adults, ranging from those with minor burns to those with more serious, life-threatening injuries.

“It is easy to forget how dangerous fireworks, bonfires and even sparklers can be. Sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil and a rocket can reach speeds of 150mph.

“Throughout the celebrations please remember to keep a watchful eye on your children and to keep them out of harm’s way and if you are handling or lighting fireworks yourself remember to follow all the safety rules.”

In the event of an accident with fireworks or fires you should: extinguish any flames if the casualty is alight, use cold water (ideally cold running water) to cool the burnt area and reduce pain, not remove burnt clothing which has stuck to the skin, not use any creams or oils etc and seek urgent medical help by calling 999 if injuries are serious.