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Kent firefighters warn on dangers of Bonfire Night
AS Bonfire Night approaches, Kent firefighters have warned people to take care when lighting bonfires and fireworks.
The big night is coming on November 5.
Firefighters have said bonfires should be built well clear of buildings, sheds, fences and overhanging branches.
A bucket of water or hose should also be on hand and paraffin or petrol should never be used to light fires.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) was called to 30 per cent more bonfire incidents this year compared with last year.
Most of these happened after bonfires spread to nearby areas.
KFRS has also warned that fireworks should be kept away from children and pets. Their instructions should also be read carefully.
Stuart Skilton, head of KFRS community safety, said: “The fifth of November is often a time of celebration but always keep in mind that fire can spread extremely quickly.
“If you do light a bonfire, ensure it is never left unattended and keep it at a manageable size.
“If the fire gets out of hand, it’s far safer to call the emergency services rather than trying to tackle the blaze yourself.
“I would also encourage people to take extra care when handling fireworks and that children playing with sparklers are supervised at all times.”
Top tips for November 5:
• A bonfire should be positioned well away from any buildings, sheds and overhanging branches.
• A bonfire should not be lit before any firework display unless the firework display is sufficiently far away to ensure stray sparks from the bonfire cannot fall into the firework area.
• A bonfire should not contain any potentially hazardous materials which may explode or give off toxic fumes, such as aerosols, batteries, bottles, foam-filled furniture or tins of paint.
• A bonfire should be kept to a manageable size and evenly built so that is collapses inwards as it burns.
• Always check the bonfire’s construction is still sound prior to lighting it, that there are no children or animals inside, and that hazardous items such as aerosols and fireworks have not been thrown onto it.
• The bonfire should not be lit by children or left unattended. Nothing should be cooked on it.
• Flammable liquids such as petrol, diesel, methylated spirits or white spirit should NEVER be poured onto the bonfire to light or revive it.