LEAVE the fireworks to the professional and attend an organised display – that’s the message from police and the fire service as they team up to ensure everyone enjoys a safe Guy Fawkes night.

As part of Op BANG (Be A Nice Guy), which aims to cut antisocial behaviour around Halloween and bonfire night, Dyfed-Powys Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) are urging people to stay safe as they enjoy the festivities.

Officers will be visiting schools ahead of November 5 to speak with young people and urge them not to attempt to buy or set off fireworks. And police are reminding that the best way to avoid injury over Guy Fawkes is to attend an organised event. Check your local paper or online events listing to find one near you.

Chief Inspector Richard Hopkin, Community Safety Support Team, said: “Fireworks in the wrong hands can cause misery as they can damage property, as well as injure people. It’s not worth the risk of attempting to host your own fireworks display at home – leave it to the professionals and enjoy an organised display.

“We would also like to remind shop workers that it is an offence to sell fireworks to anyone under 18, and that you could be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally.”

MAWWFRS is advising against building private bonfires, but insists that you contact them ahead on time on 01268 909404 if you are planning to with the following information:

  • Name of responsible person and contact telephone number
  • Date, time and location of the bonfire
  • How the fire will be extinguished after the event or if it gets out of control

MAWWFRS Arson Reduction Manager Steve Richard said: “Safety is key to having a successful and enjoyable bonfire night. We encourage everybody who wishes to celebrate to attend a community fireworks display and bonfire event, and not to attempt their own display at home. This is the safest way to enjoy the evening.

“However, if you do wish to buy fireworks, make sure you purchase them from a reputable retailer, only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 and get clued up on the safest way to set them off. Be considerate of your neighbours by warning them beforehand and don’t let off fireworks off after 10pm. Please consider that not everyone will want to take part in the celebrations, and keep your pets indoors during this period to ensure that they are safe from risk or fright.

“If you are aware of any persons who may be selling illegal fireworks, please contact the police on 101.”

To report an incident, call 999 in an emergency or 101 with a non-urgent matter. If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, text the non-emergency number on 07811 311908.

MAWWFRS has put together a simple do and do not list to ensure everyone has a safe bonfire night:

Do:

  • Position bonfires well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs. Further than 15 meters is usually a safe distance.
  • Make sure the bonfire is stable and will not collapse.
  • Ensure everyone is a safe distance (15m) away from the fire and children are supervised at all times.
  • Keep buckets of water, a garden hose or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
  • Pour water on the remains of the bonfire before leaving.
  • Keep pets indoors during bonfire night.

Do NOT:

  • Burn tyres, cylinders, canisters, aerosols, paints, plastics, rubber, foam filled furniture.
  • Use flammable liquids to light a bonfire.
  • Light or store fireworks near a bonfire.
  • Leave a bonfire unattended.
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