Organised Bonfire Night events will protect North Lanarkshire
30 October 2014
Local senior officer appeals for public to help prevent tragedy.
North Lanarkshire residents can help protect the area by choosing to mark Bonfire Night only by attending official events.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews face a 40 per cent increase in emergency callouts over the period leading up to 5 November, with firefighters up to four times busier on Bonfire Night than any other night of the year.
Area Manager John Miller, the local senior officer for North Lanarkshire, said: “We’ve seen far too many tragedies involving fireworks and bonfires.
“We want everyone who marks the occasion to have a great time and get home safe afterwards, without suffering potentially horrific injuries because something has gone wrong at a DIY fireworks display or a poorly built bonfire.
“It’s far safer to attend an organised display, and of course these are also much more spectacular events.”
North Lanarkshire Council has lined-up four official fireworks displays. The events take place in Airdrie, Coatrbridge and Cumbernauld on Tuesday 4 November, with the annual display at Strathclyde Country Park in Motherwell on Wednesday 5 November.
Councillor Helen McKenna, convener of the environmental services committee, said: "Our annual fireworks displays are hugely popular, with thousands of families enjoying the free entertainment at each venue.
“These events are also organised professionally and safely, and we would recommend that people attend one of our displays for a fun and safe night out.”
Area Manager Miller added: “The fact is careless and poorly built bonfires threaten to set fire to neighbouring properties – and they also release toxic fumes that cause serious problems for people who have breathing conditions.
“It’s also the case that the demand placed on local resources could mean delays in firefighters getting to a real emergency, where every second could be crucial to saving lives.
“Everyone has a role to play in protecting themselves, their families and their communities, so people should report unsafe or dangerous bonfires or bonfire materials and any suspicion of deliberate fire setting.
“It’s against the law for fireworks to be sold to children or young people and anyone who thinks this is happening in their area should report it to Police Scotland or Trading Standards.”
Information about bonfire and fireworks safety is available from SFRS by visiting the website at /your-safety/bonfire-night.aspx
The public are urged to pass on any information about who may be responsible for fire setting to Police Scotland using the 101 non-emergency number or, alternatively, by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.