A message from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

We know it’s Bonfire Night and there are certain traditions that go along with this occasion. But 2020 isn’t like every other year and now more than ever we all need to work together to keep our communities, and the most vulnerable among them, safe.

We are in a national lockdown. You should only be leaving your home for specific essential reasons including education, work, medical reasons, exercise, shopping for food & other essentials or to care for others.

Building a bonfire on public land is NOT essential and it is NOT allowed. If we’re called to a bonfire on public land, it will be extinguished.

We are not trying to spoil people’s fun, we’re not trying to ruin ‘tradition’ – we simply want to keep people safe.

Over recent days our firefighters have attended extremely large bonfires, many including items such as sofas, treated woods, tyres, mattresses etc. These are not ‘cosy bonfires’ – they are essentially massive rubbish tips set alight. The fumes and smoke that they produce are extremely harmful to health and to the environment. Remember, there may be people living nearby who have health conditions that are aggravated by smoke – these bonfires are a risk to those vulnerable members of our communities that we need to protect the most.

Last night, our crews were attacked whilst responding to a bonfire in Speke. This is not the first time - and sadly it won’t be the last time - that this has happened. We know this is a problem in some areas of Merseyside but we know these communities are also full of good people who are disgusted by this behaviour carried out by the minority – the messages of support we have received on social media over the last 12 hours shows that the majority of the communities we serve appreciate what we do and respect their emergency services.

Please, please, please, if you have friends and family who are thinking about gathering tonight – talk them out of it. They are putting themselves and those around them at risk. They are putting additional pressure on our emergency services at a time when we need them the most.

We want you to enjoy this period, but now is the time to pull together – follow the guidance and help stop the spread. DO NOT build & light bonfires on public land. DO NOT gather at those that others have built.

We would also ask people to think twice about having their own bonfire and firework display. If you do have a bonfire at home, make sure there is enough room to do so safely and ensure that bonfires, fire pits and chimeneas are well clear of anything that could catch fire such as trees, bushes, fences or sheds. If you’re having fireworks at home, make sure they are only used by a responsible adult and ALWAYS follow the Firework Code.

Help us to help you this Bonfire Night. Stay home and stay safe.