Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging residents to celebrate safely this New Year’s Eve.
The advice below covers the use of lanterns and candles, bonfire safety, and the safe use and disposal of fireworks. Whether you’re planning on staying in to celebrate the New Year or going out and about, the advice below will help you look after yourself, your loved ones and your property:
- 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.
- 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, please visit our website: www.rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/celebrating-safely/