This year, with no organised firework displays due to ongoing COVID-19 factors and COP26 being held in Glasgow, Community Safety Partners in East Dunbartonshire are asking residents to be careful this Bonfire Night.
East Dunbartonshire Council, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland – who make up the partnership – work together every year, taking a joint approach to Bonfire Night to ensure the night passes as safely as possible.
The absence of official events nearby, means there could be a higher risk to the community due to the possibility of increased informal fireworks events taking place locally.
The Community Safety partners are already working together to minimise antisocial behaviour, reduce the number of bonfires being built in dangerous locations, increase awareness of firework safety and discourage their misuse.
Joint Leader of the Council, Councillor Vaughan Moody said, “Usually we urge local residents to enjoy a safe Bonfire Night by attending organised displays, but unfortunately this year due to COVID-19 and COP26, these are once again cancelled. The absence of these official events may cause people across East Dunbartonshire to host their own fireworks events, which if not managed safely, could lead to serious injuries.
“We would urge anyone who is thinking of hosting an informal event to ensure that they plan properly, follow the advice of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/fireworks-safety/) and remember that unsupervised or poorly constructed bonfires and any indiscriminate use of fireworks can both be extremely dangerous. We would also like to remind our local retailers and the general public of their obligations under the recent amendments to the Fireworks (Scotland) Regulations, and urge everyone to stay safe this Bonfire Night.”
Joint Council Leader, Councillor Andrew Polson added, “The Community Safety Partnership are once again working together to ensure our residents stay safe this Bonfire Night. Our Community Wardens are working with Scottish Fire and Rescue and Police Scotland to deal with antisocial behaviour and in conjunction with our Streetscene and Waste teams in reporting and removing any unauthorised bonfires. We hope residents adhere to the advice given and everyone has a safe Bonfire Night.”
LSO Joe McKay, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Area Commander for East and West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute said, “For the second year running Bonfire Night will be significantly different to previous years as some large scale public events are being cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, and in Glasgow due to the COP26 event.
"The Service is well resourced and prepared for this annual period of celebrations that includes Halloween, Diwali and Bonfire Night, as well as this year COP26, and we have robust measures in place to ensure we can continue to respond to emergencies. There is no doubt that we welcome the continuing support of our communities in East Dunbartonshire - by following all available safety guidance from ourselves and our partners, they can help reduce the risk of harm wherever possible.
"What we're asking this year is for people to consider the risks of hosting their own event involving either fire or fireworks. Every year people are injured by bonfires and fireworks and admitted to hospital - and children are particularly at risk. We are therefore strongly encouraging anyone who is considering having a private event to think again. Those who choose to do so should familiarise themselves with the fireworks code and fire safety guidance. Do not take risks because the consequences can be devastating."
Chief Inspector John Menzies, Area Commander for East Dunbartonshire, Police Scotland, added, “Typically bonfire night weekend and the surrounding days are extremely busy for all emergency services and I would ask the community of East Dunbartonshire to make safety a priority this Bonfire Night.
“We will continue our multi agency approach with East Dunbartonshire Council and Scottish Fire and Rescue in working together to ensure antisocial behaviour and disorder is minimised as much as possible and work to reduce the devastating effects the misuse of fireworks can have. Before you consider having a private display please consider your personal safety and that of your loved ones, the safety and impact you may have on emergency services who may have to respond and the impact your display will have on your neighbours and pets.”
Residents are reminded that it is against law to:
- Light a fire in a public place if it endangers any other person (or property) or gives them reasonable cause for alarm or annoyance.
- Possess fireworks if you are under 18 years old.
- Fail to comply with the restrictions on the times that fireworks can be used by the general public.
- Cause unnecessary suffering to animals.
To report any antisocial behaviour or unauthorised firework sellers call Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and www.crimestoppers-uk.org
For more on how to stay safe this Bonfire Night visit https://www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/fireworks-safety.aspx
The Fireworks Code can be found at www.firescotland.gov.uk/media/2387082/sfrs_bonfires_v3.5_ah_digital.pdf