Report dangerous bonfires – before they are even lit

PEOPLE in the Frodsham area are being urged to report dangerous bonfires – before they are even lit.
Anyone who spots a build-up of rubbish, intended to be used as a bonfire, should report the matter immediately to Cheshire west and Chester Council – and the number to call is  0300 123 7026.
The advice comes from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service who are also urging residents to think twice before they have a bonfire or firework display in their own garden.
Firefighters are worried that because all professionally organised bonfire have been cancelled because of the Covid-19 restrictions, there will be an increase in the number of “unofficial” garden fires
Starting any fire can be extremely dangerous and may lead to disastrous consequences so the Fire Servie is encouraging people to consider safer options to celebrate Bonfire Night that doesn’t involve flames or fireworks.
Suggestions include a themed meal or a games or movie night together with other members of your household.
Fire reduction manager Andy Gray says  people may underestimate how quickly fires can escalate out of control and how unpredictable fireworks can be in people’s gardens and other areas.
He said: “Our top priority during this period is to ensure public safety. I would ask people not to be tempted to celebrate this Bonfire Night with a fire and fireworks display in their own garden.
“Our message is clear – please don’t be tempted to do so as it brings with it a huge amount of risk.
“Any fire can quickly get out of hand and spread to fences, sheds and properties. It can also cause harm and endanger life. I would therefore urge people to stay safe by thinking of other ways of celebrating the event instead.”
Wheelie bins are also a real hazard if left outside properties and could be involved in a deliberately set fire. They should only be put out on collection day.
Since the start of lockdown (March 23) Cheshire Fire Service has seen a 93 per cent increase in its 999 calls for firefighters to attend fires involving private/domestic gardens/allotments ), compared to the same period last year.
Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of fires attended during this period were accidental due to people lighting them in their gardens and these either got out of control or were left unattended and spread to nearby fences, hedges, sheds or property.
Andy added: “We saw the impact garden fires had on our emergency cover at the start of lockdown so our concerns are genuine. This is the busiest time of year for our firefighters anyway – the concern is that this resource could be stretched even further.
“We do understand that people will want to celebrate Bonfire Night, but I would hope that this year they follow our advice and consider safer options.”

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