East Sussex residents urged to stay safe during the bonfire and fireworks season

East Sussex residents have been encouraged to stay safe ahead of the bonfire and fireworks season.

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue service spokesperson said, “We would like you to ‘stay local’ this bonfire season by supporting locally-organised events rather than setting off fireworks or having bonfires in your own gardens.

“However, we know that many organised events have been cancelled and we are preparing for a busier night than usual as people celebrate in their own gardens.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“Whilst most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause real misery.”

Eastbourne Bonfire 2019. Photo by Jon Rigby SUS-190610-065811001

Residents are reminded that fireworks are explosives and should be treated with respect while being used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the fireworks code.

While talking about the fireworks code, the spokesperson said, “Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm.

“Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time.

“Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.

“Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.

“Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.

“Never return to a firework once it has been lit.

“Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.

“Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.

“Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.

“Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.”

Residents are also encouraged to avoid risks to prevent putting additional pressure on the emergency services.

Anyone who is burned is urged to cool the body part under cold running water for at least ten minutes and to subsequently cover it with cling film or a clean plastic bag.

The spokesperson added, “Fireworks can frighten people and animals. The elderly and children are frequently scared and intimidated by firework noise. After all, fireworks are explosives.

“Tell your neighbours if you’re planning on letting off fireworks and avoid purchasing really noisy ones.

“Please be considerate when having a firework party and make sure the noise is over by 11pm.”

Fireworks must not be set off between 11pm and 7am except for Bonfire Night - when the cut off is midnight – and New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year – when the cut off is 1am.

The spokesperson said, “We want to remind people that you must be over 18 to purchase fireworks and that it is illegal to set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places.

“You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.”