Residents in Richmond upon Thames are being reminded to take extra care and be thoughtful of those around them on Monday 5 November as they celebrate bonfire night.
The Community Safety Partnership (CPP) are urging people to be ‘safe not sorry’ when celebrating bonfire night as although fun, fireworks when used incorrectly can be dangerous and cause serious harm.
Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council’s Strategic Cabinet Member for Community, Business and Culture echoed the message by saying
“With bonfire night falling on a Monday this year we are aware that there may be a certain amount of revelry on the previous weekend, as well as on the actual night. The message we would like to spread is one of responsibility – when it comes to setting off fireworks in your own garden or in public – it is important to take care, be thoughtful of those around you and be sensible.
“When used properly fireworks are fine and can be a lot of fun, however, if used incorrectly people can get seriously injured. Unfortunately, figures from the last five years show that the majority of injuries sustained from fireworks being used incorrectly have been pre-school children, some even as young as one.”
Inspector Darren Weston of Twickenham Safer Neighbourhood Team, added:
"Bonfire Night is a great evening but it is important that people understand the dangers fireworks pose. I would encourage people to go to organised firework displays if they can, but if they do decide to hold their own display that they follow the firework code. We are working with retailers and colleagues from the Fire Brigade and Council to ensure that shops don’t sell fireworks to children. Safer Neighbourhoods teams will be patrolling in the evenings and will deal very positively with underage possession and misuse. Overall we want people to have a great evening and stay safe.”
The CSP are also asking residents to be vigilant and ensure they buy fireworks from a licensed retailer and not to buy loose fireworks that may have been tampered with.
It is not illegal to set off fireworks in your own garden as long as it is after 7am and before 11pm and you are over the age of 18. On Bonfire night you are legally allowed to set off fireworks until 12am.