Town Hall, Castle Circus, Torquay, Devon TQ1 3DR
Main Switchboard (01803) 201201
Direct Lines (01803) 208850 /51
Fax (01803) 299878 • DX 59006
15 October 2010
For Immediate Release
Stay safe this Bonfire Night
Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot! Although Guy
Fawkes may not have had a successful night in November, he did leave all of us with a
great excuse to have a fun-filled evening of celebrations.
To make sure your Bonfire Night goes with a bang, Safer Communities Torbay is
encouraging everyone in Torbay to keep safe and to respect their neighbours.
Ray Harris, Torbay Group Commander for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue
Service, said: "The fifth of November can be great fun and we would encourage all
residents to enjoy the festivities by attending an organised bonfire and fireworks display.
"Those organising public displays have to take measures to ensure that their event is safe
and that those attending can enjoy the festivities without having to worry about clearing
"For anyone wishing to have their own display at home, we would strongly advise that
they purchase fireworks from a reputable store which has an appropriate licence to sell
such items. Fireworks must also always be stored securely and kept away from children.
"Bonfires and fireworks can be very dangerous. Anyone wishing to have their own display
should make sure that they prepare properly and take steps to ensure their own safety
and the safety of those around them."
To help Bonfire Night stay trouble-free, many teams including the police and the council’s
street wardens will be patrolling areas to identify 'makeshift' bonfires on public/council
land and ensure that these are removed in the interests of public safety.
Partnerships Inspector Richard McLellan, from the Devon and Cornwall Police, said:
"Bonfire Night is a night of celebration, but it is not an excuse to ignore the law and upset
other people. With a little consideration for other people, everyone can have a good time.
"We would encourage any resident who notices a makeshift bonfire forming on public
land to contact the council’s Neighbourhoods Team on telephone 01803 208091 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org so that efforts can be made to have it removed.
"We would also ask those having their own fireworks display to respect their neighbours
and the law by keeping any noise to a minimum after midnight."
Cllr Louisa Aiton, Torbay Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety and
Engagement, said: "Bonfire Night is one of the highlights on many people's calendar. The
last thing we want is for the festivities to be cut short by injury or by people getting upset
by the activities of others, so we hope everyone will follow all the advice that is being
Here are some tips from the fire service, the police and the council, to help you enjoy a
safe Bonfire Night:
Go to an organised event
Those in charge of organised events have to ensure that their bonfire and fireworks
displays are safe. The displays are usually very impressive, it’s a great way to get
together with family and friends, and you don’t have to worry about cleaning up
Remember - it’s hot
Sparklers look so good that sometimes people can forget that they’re hot, and that they
stay hot even after they are put out.
If you’re using sparklers make sure that those who will be holding them wear gloves, only
light them one at a time, never give a sparkler to a child under the age of five, supervise
children and young people, and make sure that the sparklers are put out safely.
Look after your pets
Animals can become very distressed by the sound of fireworks. The Blue Cross website
contains information and guidance about how you can help your pets this Bonfire Night. If
you decide not to attend an organised event and are having your own bonfire please
check it for animals before lighting it.
Know the law
• It's illegal to let fireworks off between 11pm and 7am except on Bonfire Night
(midnight), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year (1am).
• It’s illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase fireworks.
• Fireworks can only be sold between 15 October and 10 November, and between
26 and 31 December, Chinese New Year and Diwali and the three days preceding
(unless they have applied to the council for an annual licence to sell them throughout the
• It's illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place.
Remember alcohol and fireworks don’t mix!
If you are planning to organise your own fireworks or bonfire display please act
responsibly and keep yourself and those around you safe.
For further bonfire and fireworks safety advice visit the national fire service at
www.fireservice.co.uk or visit the Safer Communities Website at
For further information please contact: Peter Surcombe, Communications Officer
on 01803 208860.