Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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Bonfire Night 2018: Crews attend fewer deliberate fires, but more dangerous bonfires, than last year

Bonfire Night 2018: Crews attend fewer deliberate fires, but more dangerous bonfires, than last year

Tuesday, 06 November 2018

Firefighters attended over 35% more potentially dangerous bonfires across Merseyside on Bonfire Night, Monday, November 5, than on the same date last year.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service attended 23 potentially dangerous bonfires between 00:00 hours and 23:59 hours on Sunday, November 5, 2018 as opposed to 17 on November 5, 2017.

Liverpool and Wirral had the highest number of such bonfires - with fire crews attending 10 in Liverpool and six in Wirral, with Sefton and St Helens both recording three, and one in Knowsley.

Deliberately-set ASB (anti-social behaviour) fires – including bonfires, but also the likes of fires lit in wheelie bins - were slightly down across Merseyside on November 5 - from 60 in 2017 to 59 this year.

Knowsley saw the largest decrease, from nine deliberately-set fires in 2017 down to just two in 2018, with Liverpool seeing the next largest reduction - from 34 down to 27. There was, however, an increase in Sefton, from five incidents last year to 14 in 2018.

Crews also attended three incidents related to fireworks - the same number as last year.

In total, fire control received 417 emergency 999 calls on November 5 in 2018, up 39.9% on 2017’s figure of 298.

Mike Buratti, Arson Team Manager for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We are pleased that the vast majority of people across Merseyside enjoyed a safe Bonfire Night.

“Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service received a large volume of calls, with our Control staff doing a fantastic job of handling them. Our Arson Team also spent the night in the community ensuring that members of the public were kept as safe as possible.

“On November 5, we take a tolerant view of bonfires - if they are in the open, supervised by adults and under control we do not extinguish them. Those we attended and put out yesterday - those included in our statistics - were all considered to be dangerous.

“Combined with two large-scale incidents, the bonfire-related activity tested the Service’s resources, though extensive advance planning and partnership work with Merseyside Police, local councils, schools and businesses in the run-up to Bonfire Night, helped reduce nuisance fires to keep people safe.

“In recent weeks, firefighters and the prevention team have been out in communities clearing away hazardous rubbish and fly-tipping, which could have been used as fuel for fires, and promoting the safe storage of wheelie bins to help prevent them becoming targets for arson.

“We are thankful to our communities for taking on board our safety messages and advice.”

As we move in to winter, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service urges everyone to make sure they have at least one working smoke alarm in their home and to ensure it is tested regularly.

For free fire safety advice or to request a home fire safety check, call 0800 731 5958.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service also provides free smoke alarms for Merseyside residents aged 65 or over.

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