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Bonfire Night Warnings

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2:05pm 5th November 2014


Cornwall's children will be handed fireworks later which can get fifteen times hotter than boiling water.

A police warning about sparklers is going out ahead of Bonfire Night.

It says more kids than adults will get hurt as we celebrate.

Officers are also pushing the 'Safe Sell Safe Use' project which local retailers can sign up to make sure that fireworks are only sold to over 18s and that customers are advised on safe use.

Sergeant Jared Connop said: "Devon & Cornwall Police are committed to keeping the people of Cornwall safe. It is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to buy fireworks or have them in their possession in a public place.  If we can stop the illegal sale and use of fireworks then we can help ensure that our communities enjoy a safe and happy bonfire night."

Crew Manager Mark Pratten of Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service said: "If you are organising your own display then only buy fireworks from a Safe Sell Safe Use retailer and follow the firework code. Each year hundreds of children are scarred for life because parents underestimate the danger of fireworks. A rocket can reach 150 miles an hour and even a sparkler gets five times hotter than boiling cooking oil.

"We recommend going to an organised firework display which is the safest way to enjoy bonfire night. Check your local media for events nearby so that you can enjoy the impressive displays without putting your family at risk."

While organised displays are by far the safest way to enjoy fireworks, there are steps you can take to stay safe if you are planning your own at home.

"Bonfires and fireworks are a fun way of celebrating, but every year we hear reports of people being injured as a result of accidents which, for the most part, could have been avoided," added Mark.

"Please take care if you are planning a firework display at home," said Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities. "Make sure you consider any potential hazards and don't take shortcuts - follow the advice of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and celebrate safely."

There's a raft of safety advice for our pets too.

Wadebridge vet Nicky Hallows told Pirate FM: "Sometimes it can be obvious. It can be dogs howling, cats cowering under beds. But sometimes it can be more subtle, it may just be a dog that's panting a lot, that can be a sign of stress which owners don't always realise. But it can be quite upsetting all night.

"Try and get your dog walks in before it gets dark, try and keep your cat locked in and the other thing to think about is your small pets outside, your rabbits, maybe birds. So, one idea is to have a section of the hut or cage that is insulated from sounds or sights."

There's more advice for pets here

 http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/general/fireworks

Top tips from CFRS for staying safe this Bonfire Night include:

Only buy fireworks from a licensed retailer and marked BS 7114
Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
Keep fireworks in a closed box.
Follow the instructions on each firework.
Light fireworks at arm's length, using a taper.
Stand well back.
Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn't gone off, it could still explode.
Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
Always supervise children around fireworks.
Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
Never give sparklers to children under five.
Keep pets indoors.
Don't set off noisy fireworks late at night.
If you are having a bonfire, make sure it is well away from houses, trees, fences, sheds and hedges. Build it carefully so that it won't topple over when lit. Use firelighters to get the bonfire started - never use petrol or paraffin. And make sure you have water nearby to extinguish the fire if it gets out of hand.


Devon and Cornwall Police's tips for staying safe:

o Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
o Never throw used fireworks, paraffin or petrol, on a bonfire.
o Take care around bonfires, especially keeping clothing away.
o Make sure bonfires are out and surroundings are safe before leaving.
o Misfired or partly used fireworks should be soaked in a container of water and the manufacturer should be contacted for advice on disposal.

If you are putting on your own display:

1. Only one person should be responsible for letting off fireworks.
2. Don't drink alcohol if you are setting off fireworks.
3. Light fireworks at arm's length, using a taper.
4. Make sure everyone stands well back.
5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
6. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from people.
7. NEVER go back to a firework that has been lit even if it has not gone off it could still explode.

Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 or with a CE mark from a reputable seller. This shows that the firework meets British or European Safety standards. Follow the instructions on each firework and use a torch to read it.

On Bonfire Night, November 5, you can let off fireworks until midnight.



2:05pm 5th November 2014

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