PATROLS are being launched to protect lives and property across County Durham and Darlington in the run-up to Bonfire Night.
As well as firefighters, police and council officials identifying hot spots for illegal bonfires, firefighters and PCSOs will be patrolling in targeted response vehicles over the firework season period to identify areas of concern.
Patrols will operate between Halloween and Bonfire Night, as part of a strategy to keep people safe and the number of fires and arson attacks down.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s (CDDFRS) Arson Reduction Manager, Lee Aspery, said: “We have always worked together with our partners to ensure the public enjoys a safe Bonfire Night, however, these patrols allow us to target specific areas and talk to residents about any concerns they may have.”
“The smart way to stay safe is to go to an organised display, you’ll see a lot more fireworks and it’s a lot cheaper. However, if you are planning to use fireworks at home, then please follow our safety advice when purchasing fireworks.
“As the Bonfire Night celebrations are on a Friday this year, we appreciate that families may wish to celebrate at home or over the weekend. We ask people to please always bear in mind their neighbours and the distressing effects fireworks can have on animals and vulnerable people.”
CDDFRS and partners have also launched the #BetterBonfireNight campaign, encouraging members of the public to attend an organised fireworks display where possible, and strongly advise those having a home display to only buy fireworks from reputable stores.
Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s Head of Community Protection, said: “If you do decide to buy fireworks, only buy from a reputable retailer, which will be licensed by us and inspected for labelling and safe storage arrangements. We would urge people not to buy from sellers advertising on social media as these fireworks can have unknown origins and may not be safe.”
Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Darlington Borough Council’s Deputy Leader said: “We want everyone to have a safe Bonfire Night and anyone found to be involved in antisocial behaviour or setting off fireworks irresponsibly will not be tolerated and will be dealt with.”
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