People urged to ‘stay local’ to enjoy bonfire celebrations

Three months of revelry about to begin
Three months of revelry about to begin

With the start of fireworks season around the corner, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to “stay local”.

It wants people to support locally organised fireworks celebrations rather than setting off fireworks or having bonfires in their own gardens.

David Kemp, head of community safety from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Injuries from fireworks and bonfires can be life changing. There are around 4,500 admissions to Accident and Emergency units in the UK each year due to fireworks injuries.

“Fortunately East Sussex has a strong tradition when it comes to local events. We encourage people to take advantage of the hard work carried out by organisers and head to your local displays.”

Andrew Gausden at the fire service said, “Organisers of fireworks displays submit their event plans to local authorities and we then help ensure they have the appropriate measures in place to have a safe event.

“We do of course recognise there will be people who want to have their own fireworks in gardens – please make sure you only buy from reputable retailers. As for those retailers who are storing and selling fireworks, please remember to follow the law. Storing fireworks does not in itself increase the risk of an outbreak of fire but obviously it can mean any fire which does break out can spread more rapidly and be more intense.”

Eastbourne Bonfire Society’s annual parade is on Saturday October 6 and Hailsham on Saturday October 20 but the Uckfield society kicks off the season on Saturday evening (September 1).

In addition the fire service, police and councils are urging people in Eastbourne and Hailsham to stay away from the traditional bonfire celebrations in Lewes.

A fire service spokesperson said, “Lewes bonfire on November 5 is considered as an event for locals – rather than large numbers of people travelling into the town.

“It quickly gets overcrowded and uncomfortable, with very few public facilities available. There is also no guarantee you will be able to get to and from the town with road closures in place and trains not stopping at local stations. If you stay local and find your nearest events instead, we believe you have a much better chance of enjoying your night out.”

Lewes District Council and Sussex Police has already warned of major transport restrictions.