The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to join Scotland’s fight against fire, issuing a “community call to action” in the run up to Bonfire Night.
Every year careless bonfires take firefighters away from other incidents – putting lives at risk. Choosing to attend only official bonfire events will help keep people, property and vital resources safe.
Bonfire Night is the busiest time of year for the fire service, and during the bonfire period firefighters typically see a 40% increase in emergency calls. Having to tackle bonfires means it could take crews longer to attend serious incidents – with potentially tragic consequences.
Careless bonfires also see public money go up in smoke – in previous years costs have been estimated in millions of pounds of damage.
Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) Lewis Ramsay, Director of Prevention and Protection for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said
We want everyone to enjoy the celebrations and I would urge the public to join Scotland’s fight against fire and attend official bonfire events this year. Not only is it the best way to stay safe, but careless bonfires take crews away from serious incidents in our communities – so choosing to attend organised events will protect people, property and ensure our firefighters can get to where they are most needed.
Every year we work with our partner agencies to raise awareness of the risk and dangers associated with bonfires and fireworks as well as the preventative measures which can be taken to improve community safety – as local people must continue to play their part in making our communities safer.
We have no better ally in the fight against fire than our local communities who can make a difference and work together for a safer Scotland. Our pre-planning and response arrangements have been much easier to co-ordinate this year, given the commencement of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Our approach incorporates best practice from across Scotland and ensures services are delivered locally in a consistent and co-ordinated manner, with a clear focus on public and firefighter safety.
Superintendent Alan Cunningham, Head of Prevention and Interventions at Police Scotland, said
We want people to listen to safety advice and attend organised events so families can keep safe and enjoy the Bonfire celebrations.
The best way of keeping safe is to attend official bonfire events which will also help reduce the number of unnecessary call outs for Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
Minister for Community Safety, Roseanna Cunningham said
I wholeheartedly endorse the SFRS campaign and recognise the very valuable work of our firefighters at this busy time of year. We can all support them and make our communities safer by attending organised events. This guarantees we enjoy the spectacle in safety and have a fifth of November to remember – for all the right reasons.
‘Join Scotland’s fight against fire’ gives more information about how to be safe on 5 November, with a range of additional information to raise public awareness of fire safety at home and in the workplace.
The campaign lets the public know how to refer family, friends and neighbours – who may be specifically at-risk – for a free Home Fire Safety Visit, or other services that focus on protecting older people from fire.
Anyone who decides to hold their own events should always follow vital bonfire and firework safety advice from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service available by clicking here.