‘Think ‘Safety First’ and be responsible when building or attending bonfires’ – NIFRS

Newry Times News Posted by
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Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Community

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is urging people to think ‘safety first’ and be responsible when building and attending bonfires by following its Bonfire Safety Advice.

Last year (2012) Fire Crews attended 29 bonfire related incidents on the 11th July night (6pm 11 July – 8am 12 July).

NIFRS also wants to remind people that if firefighters are called to respond to an emergency incident in the vicinity of a bonfire it’s because someone in the local community is concerned that the bonfire is getting out of control and has called 999.

Firefighters are not out to spoil anyone’s fun, their job is to protect life and property from the dangers of fire.

Dale Ashford, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Safety Services, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said, “Traditionally the 11th July has been one of the busiest nights of the year for NIFRS however last year there was a 41% reduction in the number of bonfire related incidents compared to the previous year.

“Although I welcome this reduction we cannot become complacent and that is why I want the public to follow our Bonfire Safety Advice when building and attending bonfires.

“We play a central role in protecting our community and we want people to be safe, act responsible and use common sense. Bonfires can easily get out of control if they are not built safely and properly supervised,” he insisted.

“We will work with local communities to provide bonfire safety advice and we work with other statutory agencies in relation to bonfire safety. Bonfires should be kept to a manageable size and sited in a clear open space, at a safe distance from buildings and overhead cables.

“As a rule of thumb the bonfire should be a minimum distance of five times its height from property. The bonfire should not contain any potentially hazardous materials or tyres and never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin, as these can produce explosive vapours.

“Remember, should your bonfire get out of control call 999 immediately and ask for the Fire & Rescue Service. If we are called out to attend a bonfire related incident I am asking the community for their support to ensure that Firefighters are able to carry out their job without fear of attack or harassment.

Ashford added, “Thankfully attacks on our Firefighters are declining year on year, but one attack on our Firefighters is still one too many and Firefighters have a job to do to protect the local community.”


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