On The Beat: Firework safety

I can’t believe that the bonfire period is back around again! I am really pleased that this year will look different to last year with certain events being able to be held and people can come together once again for bonfire and fireworks.

The important message from police and partners this year is to consider safety as the number one priority. Whilst we want people to enjoy themselves then this must be done in a safe manner having consideration for your neighbours and wider communities.

The police and other emergency services often see an increase in anti-social behaviour and nuisance type calls for service in the lead up to bonfire night. In order to try and reduce this we have had a series of partnership meetings with numerous agencies including police, Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team (LASBT), fire, youth services, housing, cleansing as well as your Councillors.

We have focused on the prevention of offences and diversions for young people. We are working with some excellent projects including Youth Services, The Hunslet Club and Hamara who are delivery a range of diversionary activities for young people across your area.

Despite all the efforts of the partnership, sadly a number of young people will still engage in anti-social behaviour. There are a number of ways that these issues can be reported so please report them to the relevant service so that we can take the appropriate action and prevent further offending or anti-social behaviour.

  • Calling 999 in an emergency. You can also text using the emergency SMS facility by texting 999. You need to register first by texting ‘register’ to 999
  • Call 101 for non-emergencies
  • Use our LiveChat facility at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101LiveChat
  • Contact LASBT via bit.ly/LASBTreport

The South Neighbourhood Policing Team hope that people enjoy this period in a safe manner, being mindful and respecting your neighbours and others (including our furry friends!).

Leeds City Council Anti-Social Behaviour Team adds:

“Tackling the anti-social use of fireworks is a priority for Safer Leeds. LASBT will continue to work with our partners to prevent and deter this behaviour, however where appropriate we will support West Yorkshire Police with the use of tools and powers available to tackle those individuals engaged in misuse of fireworks that are causing alarm and nuisance to the public.”

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, Inner South Community Committee Safety Champion and also Chair of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel said:

“Fireworks if mis-used can be dangerous and deadly. Every year we get complaints of their anti-social use and activities that lead to injuries sadly, when fireworks are used to target members of the public with the intent to harm.

“Please make sure the young people in your household know the danger to themselves and others by miss use of fireworks. They should be things that bring joy – not cause harm but that lesson starts at home, not just via the police or the city council.”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging bonfire revellers to make the most of the celebrations while making safety a priority this bonfire night:

“If possible, it’s best to go to an organised event as the bonfires and firework shows are bigger and more spectacular, as well as of course being much safer. But if you do plan to have a bonfire in your own garden then please follow our guidance.

“That includes only adults buying fireworks, and only from a reputable retailer. Read and follow the Fireworks Code. Think carefully about where you place your bonfire, how you will keep it under control and how you’ll make sure both adults and youngsters are safe around the fireworks and the flames.

“Staying safe with sparklers is crucial. Sparklers should never be given to a child under five, must always be held at arm’s length and in a gloved hand. Once they have gone out put sparklers in bucket of water or sand.

“Look out for the hashtag #BanginBonfire”

Bonfire safety tips

  • Once a bonfire is lit, make sure you:
  • keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies
  • don’t leave the bonfire unattended
  • keep children and pets away from the bonfire
  • don’t throw any fireworks into the fire
  • don’t burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint – many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury

Always follow the firework code

  • Stand well back
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Only buy fireworks that are CE marked
  • Light at arm’s length, using a taper
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Always supervise children around fireworks
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit – even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode


This post was written by Inspector Lucy Leadbeater, South leeds Neighbourhood Policing Team