THE emergency services are pleading with people across Greater Manchester to act responsibly during this year’s Bonfire Night period.
It comes as the number of hoax calls and deliberate fires is rising, with this time of year always proving to be incredibly busy for firefighters, ambulance crews and police officers.
Between September 1 and November 10 last year in Greater Manchester, 15 firefighters were attacked, there were 984 hoax calls to the police and fire services, while some 1,366 fires were started deliberately.
To help prevent incidents this Halloween and Bonfire Night, the main emergency services across the city-region have once again joined forces and launched the Bang Out Of Order campaign.
It aims to highlight the consequences of anti-social behaviour, encourage parents to have conversations with their children about their behaviour, and inform residents about the ways to report anti-social behaviour incidents.
As part of the campaign, firefighters have been visiting schools to share safety advice around bonfires, fireworks and anti-social behaviour to ensure young people enjoy the autumn safely.
The emergency services also warn that assaults, anti-social behaviour and arson will not be tolerated and could lead to fines or even jail sentences.
Anyone concerned about anti-social behaviour can contact GMP on 101, use the online Live Chat service at gmp.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, but you should always dial 999 if you believe there is a risk to life or property.
As fireworks legally went on sale in the UK from October 15, the emergency services are urging people to ensure the Firework Safety Code is followed, whereby:
– Only buy fireworks marked CE, which meet required safety standards
– Keep fireworks in a closed metal box
– Follow instructions on each firework
– Light fireworks at arm’s length using a taper
– Stand well back
– Never go back to a lit firework
– Never put fireworks in your pocket
– Keep a bucket of water nearby if you are setting off fireworks in your garden
– Never throw fireworks
– Keep pets indoors
– Alcohol and fireworks do not mix and may lead to injury
Fire safety inspectors will be visiting shops over the next four weeks to ensure fireworks are being stored safely, while retailers have been sent advice reminding them that it is against the law to sell fireworks to under 18s.
Emergency services are also warning people about the dangers of Halloween costumes, which have a reduced resistance to fire as they don’t go through the same fire safety tests as other clothes.
Anyone wearing a costume is urged to check it carries a UKCA or UKNI mark on the label and, when wearing it, keep it away from naked flames.
More information about the Bang Out Of Order campaign, including safety advice, can be found here.