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Targeting illegal bonfires in Hull

31 October 2013

In the build up to bonfire night, Humberside Fire and Rescue is urging residents to be extra vigilant to ensure the season goes with a bang for all the right reasons.

Richard Mason, Community Safety Manager for Hull, said: “We don’t want to spoil people’s fun, but I urge residents to enjoy this time of year responsibly. I would encourage people to attend organised events rather than putting on their own bonfire, as often this is where problems can occur.”

Last year Humberside Fire and Rescue Service were called to over 170 bonfire related incidents on 4 and 5 November in the Hull area alone.

“Our attendance at these types of incidents can put pressure on our resources when there may be a greater need for us elsewhere,” Richard added.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service are teaming up with Humberside Police in the run up to Bonfire Night in order to deal with anti-social behaviour and disorder experienced by fire crews tackling bonfires. Officers will be operating from mobile units in the Hull area

The mobile units will identify, in advance, any problematic fires which are built in areas considered dangerous due to their proximity to buildings or because of the material which is placed upon them. This will then allow these build ups to be dismantled and removed quickly before they are lit. The debris left on public land after illegal bonfires is unpleasant for residents, potentially dangerous to children and animals and expensive to clear up.

Members of the public are urged to report any build ups in their area which they deem dangerous or even a nuisance. By calling 01482 300 300, Waste Management teams can be alerted and the areas cleared before they are even lit.

Around 300 extra ‘pairs of eyes’ will be utilised at Civic One, the city’s central CCTV monitoring centre in Hull. As part of the FAB initiative (Fireworks and Bonfires) anything picked up over the next week on the cameras will alert any of the emergency services or Waste Management teams to effectively deal with the problem.

Humberside Police’s Community Reassurance Team will also be working with Special Constables in order to provide extra patrols over the bonfire period to support Humberside Fire and Rescue Service with any issues they may have when attending bonfires.

Sergeant Mick Stevenson from the Hull’s Community Reassurance Team said:

“We want people to remember bonfire night for all the right reasons and not because they ended up in hospital with serious injuries as a result articles being placed on bonfires which are dangerous. The work that Humberside Fire and Rescue do around bonfires is important both to those taking part in the fire and also the local community and all we ask is that people allow us to help them provide a safer bonfire night for all concerned.”

Anyone identified acting in an anti-social way or causing disorder which prevents the fire brigade doing their job – tackling fires that have the potential to cause damage to property or threaten ham life in the weeks before and after Bonfire Night – will face possible arrest by the Police patrols.

Councillor John Hewitt, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said: “Each year it’s estimated to cost Hull City Council and partner agencies tens of thousands of pounds to deal with illegal bonfires across the city. They are both dangerous to the environment, property and human health.

“Bonfire night should not be viewed as a chance to burn waste or household rubbish, they should be recycled or disposed of using the household collection service or at one of the three local waste and recycling centres across the city.

“If people are concerned with either the illegal sale of fireworks by suppliers or their actual safety, then I would urge them to call Hull City Council on 01482 300 300.”
Fireworks are part of the bonfire night celebrations but if not used property can be very dangerous. The Fire Service urges residents to follow this safety advice to ensure people’s safety:
• Use only BS 7114 Fireworks. Check this when you are buying. All reputable dealers will only sell fireworks to this standard.
• Keep fireworks in a closed box
• Follow the instructions on each firework
• Light all fireworks at arms length
• Stand well back
• Never go back to a lit firework
• Never throw fireworks
• Keep pets indoors

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will be Tweeting safety messages over the bonfire night period. Twitter users can follow @HumbersideFire and #HFRSBonfire

Notes for newsdesks

Background information from Hull City CouncilHull City Council registers premises and issues licenses intending to sell fireworks and is carrying out inspections to ensure fireworks are stored safety.
Hull City Council will act on information if fireworks are sold to anyone under 18 years of age. Call 01482 300 300 and provide as much information as possible.
Hull City Council will act on information provided if people are concerned about the safety of the fireworks call 01482 300 300 and provide as much information as possible.
If you witness any dumping of rubbish on bonfire stacks, we urge you report them to 01482 300 300.
Please use the waste management and recycling services provided by Hull City Council free of charge to dispose and recycle your waste. Call us on 300 300 and we can advise you on how to dispose of or recycle different types of waste.
The three waste and recycling centres are open daily 10am – 6pm.

Sutton Fields household waste and recycling centre
This undercover site is located on Amsterdam Road on Sutton Fields Industrial Estate.

Wiltshire Road household waste and recycling centre
This undercover centre is at the far end of Wiltshire Road which is located near the Hessle Road flyover.

Burma Drive household waste and recycling centre
This undercover centre is at the end of Burma Drive, towards the Hedon Road end of Marfleet Lane.