East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to take extra care this weekend and consider attending an organised event rather than holding bonfire and firework celebrations at home.
The advice follows the announcement of further industrial action by members of the Fire Brigades Union, which is scheduled to take place between 18.30 and 23.00 on Friday 1st November. A shorter strike is also planned for Monday 4th November between 06.00 and 08.00 in the dispute between the FBU and the Government over pensions.
Firefighters not involved in the strike will be on duty and ready to respond in the event of an emergency, but cover will inevitably be reduced.
While there are no major organised bonfire celebrations planned in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove during Friday’s strike, some families may be planning to hold their own celebrations at home and should take extra care. Simple bonfire and fireworks safety advice is available on our website.
Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said: “We are ready to respond, but members of the public can help by staying safe and ensuring that we concentrate our resources where they are most needed. Remember that attending a large, organised display is one of the safest ways for you and your family to enjoy bonfire night. There are plenty going on around Sussex at this time of year.
“Our basic advice remains the same during the strike and at all other times. If you have a fire, get out of the building, stay out and call 999. If the fire is outside, move everyone away to a safe distance as quickly as you can and call us.”
Firework and bonfire safety advice
• Never buy fireworks from anywhere you're not sure about, like a van or a temporary, unlicensed market stall;
• Make sure you read and understand the instructions on each firework carefully in daylight or by torchlight, never by a naked flame;
• Make suitable supports and launchers if you're setting off Catherine wheels or rockets;
• Make sure you have the following to hand. A closed metal box to store the fireworks - take them out one at a time; a bucket of water to cool sparklers and put out any small fires; eye protection and gloves and a bucket of earth to stick fireworks in;
• Have you decided who will let the fireworks off? It is best if only one person does this. They shouldn’t drink, they should make sure everyone else stands well back and use a tape to light the fireworks at arm’s length;
• Never go back to a firework that has been lit - even if it hasn't gone off it could still explode;
• Never throw fireworks on a bonfire, put them in your pocket or throw them.