“Take extra care this Autumn – stay at home, stay safe and protect our emergency services”

Take extra care this Autumn – stay at home, stay safe and protect our emergency services” is the message from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is urging communities to do their bit this Autumn and stay safe, as the Halloween and Bonfire season gets underway.

Festivities will look very different this year as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, with organised displays cancelled across Greater Manchester and Government restrictions currently banning household mixing indoors and gatherings of more than six people outdoors (restrictions may change to a ban on household mixing in any setting.)

With more people expected to celebrate at home, firefighters are calling on people to take extra care and remind themselves of the Halloween, Bonfire and firework safety advice that is available at Safe4Autumm.com.

GMFRS along with other emergency services and Local Authorities are gearing up for a busy few weeks and they need the public’s support to help them keep people safe.

GMFRS’ Chief Fire Officer, Dave Russel, said: “The last seven to eight months have been extremely unusual and challenging for everyone, including the emergency services and our local councils, and we are anticipating the next few weeks to put additional pressures on us all.

“The Halloween and Bonfire period will be as busy as ever with the expectation that more families and households will opt to host their own small firework display due to organised events having been cancelled.

“Our advice would be to not have fireworks and bonfires this year – instead, stay at home, stay safe and protect our emergency services. If you do choose to purchase fireworks, you must do so safely by checking for the CE mark, and you must follow the Fireworks Code when using them.

“Bonfires can be dangerous if not managed correctly and they cause problems for our emergency services. If you are going to have a bonfire in your garden, please do so safely by following the advice on our website Safe4Autumn.com. It’s more important than ever that people across Greater Manchester celebrate this autumn safely and responsibly.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “Our emergency services are already fully stretched by the COVID-19 pandemic and these next few weeks will put extra demands on them all. Please remember that the firefighters, paramedics and police officers working on the frontline during this challenging and busy period are someone’s mum, dad, daughter, son and family member who are just doing their job and protecting our communities.

“Show your emergency services, neighbours and communities the respect that everyone deserves this year whilst we continue to live through the pandemic. Hoax calls and fires started deliberately can have a significant impact on the safety of others. They also tie up firefighters who may be needed for a life-threating emergency elsewhere. Please think before you act – it could be a member of your family in danger and requires help from our emergency services.”

If you are planning to have fireworks at home this year, please ensure you follow the Firework Safety Code:

  • Buy fireworks marked CE
  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light them at arm’s length using a taper
  • Stand well back
  • Never go back to a lit firework
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby if you are setting off fireworks in your garden
  • Never throw fireworks
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix and may lead to injury

Ahead of Halloween in just over two weeks’ time, please check that your Halloween costumes are CE marked to ensure they meet the required safety standards. All garments have a risk of being flammable so it is important to keep them away from naked flames such as candles and fires at all times.

If your clothing does catch fire:

  1. Stop what you’re doing and stay very still
  2. Drop to the floor
  3. Roll backwards and forwards until the flames are out

More seasonal safety advice can be found on our website.