GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is urging people to be safe and responsible on and around Bonfire Night as its annual campaign gets underway.
Today (October 15) marks the day fireworks legally go on sale in the UK and the next few weeks will be the busiest of the year for GMFRS and other emergency services, as people head out to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations.
In recent years, firefighters have faced anti-social behaviour during this period, including deliberate fires, hoax calls and they have even come under attack. The Service is asking people to think carefully about their actions as this sort of behaviour can have major consequences.
People are also being urged to attend an organised event, never to play with fireworks and to make sure they check all Halloween costumes are CE marked to ensure they meet the required safety standards.
Chief Fire Officer Jim Wallace said: “Most people in Greater Manchester will head out and enjoy themselves safely and responsibly over the bonfire period. Unfortunately, some don’t, and all too often during the past few years our firefighters have been called out to hoaxes, fires started deliberately, and on some occasions even come under attack from members of the public. Please think before you act as this can keep our firefighters away from dealing with serious emergencies, possibly putting lives at risk.
“I would like to thank everyone who supports all of our emergency services during one of the busiest times of the year for us. We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable bonfire period, so please attend an organised display across Greater Manchester, and at all times be safe and responsible, especially around fireworks.
“I would also urge parents to make sure Halloween costumes are kept away from naked flames and to check they are CE marked, so they can be reassured it is safe.”
Superintendent Christopher Bridge said: “We want people to have fun throughout Halloween and Bonfire Night but we urge people to behave responsibly, respect their neighbours and everyone around them.
“I would like to remind people that anti-social behaviour, such as setting bins on fire, misuse of fireworks and other criminal damage won’t be tolerated. Behaviour such as this will be dealt with accordingly by the police and we would urge parents to ensure they are reminding their children about staying safe and sensible over the autumn period.
“We know that communities will be celebrating together at this time of year, however, please keep an eye on your surroundings and be considerate to those who may not be celebrating during this time. In partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, local authorities and Transport for Greater Manchester, we would ask you to check out the Safe4Autumn website for further information and advice.”
To mark the launch of the campaign, 60 pupils visited GMFRS’ state-of-the-art Training and Safety Centre in Bury earlier today (Tuesday October 15).
The children aged between nine and 10-years-old, from St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School in Bolton, took part in a range of activities to find out more about fire safety.
The launch was attended by the Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester for Policing and Crime Bev Hughes, Chief Fire Officer Jim Wallace, Superintendent Christopher Bridge and Advanced Paramedic Duncan Mayoh.
Deputy Mayor, Bev Hughes said: “Today is a fantastic opportunity to educate our young people about the dangers that can arise during the autumn period.
“Our emergency services work hard to keep communities across Greater Manchester safe and this campaign is crucial in preventing worst case scenarios amongst residents by promoting key safety messages.”
Advanced Paramedic, Duncan Mayoh said: “It is a sad fact that at this time of year, we do see an increase in burns injuries – particularly when alcohol is involved and we do urge people to go to organised displays which have to meet rigid safety regulations. Even minor burns can result in having to have extensive treatment and in some cases, can be life changing.
“We want people to have fun but to do so safely. If not used correctly, fireworks are extremely dangerous and should only ever be used by a responsible adult. Don’t be a victim this year.”
Alison Worthington, Deputy Headteacher at St Matthew’s said: “Today has been an eye-opening opportunity for the children. It has been fantastic to see them so engaged in the session, answering questions and learning more about staying safe around fire.
“It is so important that we teach children the dangers of fire and what to do if they ever find themselves in an emergency situation and the centre helps to educate them perfectly.”
15/10/2019 15:13 PM