Figures Show Dramatic Drop in Local Bonfire Night Blazes

But Fire Brigade offer safety tips and warn against complacency

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London Fire Brigade say fires in Hammersmith and Fulham over the period of Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night have seen a dramatic drop - but warn that people still need to care around fireworks.

In fact, fires in Hammersmith and Fulham over the period of Halloween and Bonfire Night have dropped by 43 per cent over the last five years, according to new figures from London Fire Brigade.

Last year’s November 5 was the quietest on record for the capital’s firefighters with 154 fires attended - or a fire in London every 10 minutes. In 2006, fire crews attended around one fire every three minutes on Bonfire Night.

The figures show that:

  • There was a 48% decrease in the number of 999 calls on bonfire night last year compared with the same day five years ago.
  • Firefighters attended 477 incidents between 24 October and 10 November last year. In 2006, there were 891 for the same period.

Despite the downward trend, fire chiefs are urging people not to be complacent and use common sense over the bonfire night weekend.

Steve Lumb, the Brigade’s Borough Commander for Hammersmith and Fulham, says: " We’ve seen a dramatic drop in fires over Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali in Hammersmith and Fulham but it is still shocking that across London we were called to one fire every 10 minutes on bonfire night last year.

" Many of the Bonfire Night fires we see can be easily prevented so we want people to use some common sense in a bid to reduce the number of fires."

The Brigade’s top three Bonfire Night tips are:

  1. Attend organised displays – they’re much safer than holding your own
  2. Never leave bonfires unattended and make sure they’re fully out before leaving them
  3. Light bonfires well away from sheds, fences, bushes and trees

If you are planning on holding your own firework display you should:

  • Light fireworks at arms length using a taper and stand well back.
  • Never go back to fireworks once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn't gone off, it could still explode.
  • Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges.
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire.
  • Don’t leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with plenty of water.

Tickets are available for this year's local fireworks displays, taking place in Bishops Park in Fulham on November 2 and Hammersmith's Ravenscourt Park on November 3.

The gates will open at 6pm at both events and children's fireworks will take place at 7.15pm. The celebrations will culminate with a fantastic firework display choreographed to music at around 8pm.

Residents are reminded to arrive at the parks early, as there will be no admittance after the displays start. There will also be no admittance to any vendors, and it is prohibited to bring your own fireworks, sparklers, alcohol or dogs to the event.

As well as the fireworks, there will be fun for all the family with a funfair and stalls selling food and drinks.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at a reduced price of £5 per person via the Lyric Theatre or on 020 8741 6850.

Advance booking closes 5.30pm, Friday November 2, and tickete will then be available on the gate for £7.

Under fives will be admitted free.

 

October 31, 2012