To make sure your Bonfire Night goes off with a bang, Safer Communities Torbay is encouraging everyone in Torbay to keep safe and to respect their neighbours.
Councillor Robert Excell, Executive Lead for Community Services at Torbay Council 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. Licensed events are safer and you can enjoy all of the fun and leave the tidying up afterwards to the event organisers!”
Torbay Council’s Community Safety Team will be co-ordinating activity with statutory agencies and the community in advance of the celebrations to reduce the risk of illegal bonfires and the illegal sale of fireworks. Anyone who notices items being gathered for a makeshift bonfire should report it to the council’s Community Safety Team on 01803 208025.
Brian Cappello Fire Prevention Officer for South Devon from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: "Whilst we recommend that families attend organised and licensed displays, for those who are planning a 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 incredibly 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. If you have children please remind them of the Firework Code, and if you’re not sure of it yourself it’s never too late to learn! Find out more on our website at www.dsfire.gov.uk.”
There are various laws relating to the purchase and use of fireworks which can be viewed online at www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law. The penalties for breaking the law include a fine of up to £5000, imprisonment and an on the spot fine of £90. It is also illegal to sell fireworks from a Car Boot sale. Anyone believing that fireworks are being sold illegally can contact the council’s Community Safety Team on 01803 208025.
Community Safety Sergeant Carmen Desborough, from 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. If you’re planning a celebration please inform your neighbours. Most people are more understanding when they’re kept informed.
"Anyone having a fireworks display on Bonfire Night must cease at midnight. Letting off fireworks after those hours is not only anti-social but are also against the law.
"Finally fireworks can be terrifying for pets so we do recommend that pet owners take steps to alleviate some of the anxiety for their animals.”
Further information and advice can be found at www.safercommunitiestorbay.org.uk/bonfirenight. Pet owners can also visit the Blue Cross website at www.bluecross.org.uk/2154-88390/fireworks-and-animals.html. You can find the firework code at www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Fireworksafety/Pages/Fireworkcode.aspx