RBFRS urges residents to celebrate safely this Halloween and Bonfire night

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging residents to celebrate safely during the forthcoming Halloween and Bonfire night celebrations.

RBFRS urges residents to be mindful of their surroundings by considering their neighbours when planning their celebrations.

Steve Beard, Station Manager for Prevention at RBFRS, said: “Bonfires should be kept under control and you should keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies. Also, be careful when buying children’s Halloween costumes and masks. They should be labelled as flame-resistant.”

The advice below covers the use of lanterns and candles, bonfire safety, dressing in costumes and the safe use and disposal of fireworks. Whether you’re dressing up for Halloween or planning on enjoying fireworks for Bonfire night, the advice below will help you look after yourself, your loved ones and your property:

Costumes

  • Make sure that when purchasing or using costumes and masks that they are labelled as flame-resistant.
  • Don’t use flammable materials to make home-made costumes.
  • Keep children away from naked flames at all times.
  • If your clothing catches fire remember to stop, drop and roll.

Bonfires

  • Build bonfires well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures.
  • Never burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint – many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode causing injury.
  • Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going as it could quickly get out of control.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies.
  • Never leave a bonfire unattended and keep children and pets away from it.

Fireworks

  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 or with a CE mark – this shows that the firework meets British or European safety standards (a reputable shop will know this).
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks in a suitable box.

Lanterns and candles

  • Think carefully about the fire risks if making homemade lanterns. Place them securely in a purpose built candle holder away from draughts. Flickering LED candles are safer than real candles.
  • Never allow small children to carry lanterns lit by naked flames. The handle could become hot or the child could slip.
  • Lanterns should never be made from plastic bottles or other plastic containers.
  • Floating lanterns are a fire hazard but also pose a risk to livestock, agriculture, camping activities, thatched properties and hazardous material sites.
  • Ensure that the candles are extinguished completely at night or before you go out.

For more information about celebrating safely and fire safety in the home then please visit our website: www.rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/home/.