Teenagers unite to warn peers of Bonfire Night dangers

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The youth volunteers want to warn people of the dangers of fireworks.

A group of young role models are urging their peers to act responsibly this Bonfire Night and help Scotland's emergency services keep communities safe. 

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service youth volunteers have united to urge caution over the use of fireworks and to warn of the dangers of deliberate fire-setting. 

This time of year is traditionally the busiest period for SFRS staff, with firefighters responding to more than 350 bonfires in just an eight-hour period last year, on November 5. 

16-year-old May Stirling has been a member of the SFRS Youth Volunteer Scheme for almost five years. The college student, who wants to become a firefighter, said COVID-19 restrictions can be challenging but safety has to take priority.  

She said: "The most important thing has to be that people stay safe. It may be a bit rubbish for people this year with events cancelled, but it won't be like this forever - so don't be reckless. 

"It is one day of the year for you, but if firefighters and their partners are unable to help someone in an emergency because they are busy elsewhere, it can aeffect someone for the rest of their life. We don't want that to happen 

"Please consider how your actions can impact others." 

Aidan Wright, 17, has been involved in the programme for four years. He said: "The message to people this year, including people my own age, is to be careful and ensure you remain safe. 

"Fireworks are dangerous and it’s vital that you know what you are doing before using them. Be kind. Be safe … be smart." 

Katie Gill is a student at Ayrshire's Kilwinning Academy and has been involved in the Youth Volunteer Scheme for the past 12 months. The 16-year-old said: "Everyone has to take precautions to ensure they are safe. 

"If you are going to be involved with fireworks, make sure you are supervised by an adult and follow all instructions before using them. 

"As we approach Bonfire Night, firefighters face one of their busiest times of year, which puts strain on our staff and control rooms. 

"We can all do our part by remembering how dangerous fireworks are and by remaining safe." 

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Firework Code provides important safety advice and can be found here:  www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/fireworks-safety.aspx 

For bonfire safety, visit /your-safety/bonfire-safety.aspx 

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