BE SAFE AND DON’T BE #BANGOUTOFORDER THIS GUY FAWKES’ NIGHT

PICTURE: Ava is scared by loud bangs

This year Bonfire (Guy Fawkes’) Night is going to look a lot different in Halton and the rest of the country, with the Covid-19 restrictions in place.

Have fun; stick to the rules to keep each other safe; and think about the welfare of local pets are the messages from Halton Borough Council in advance of November 5.

People are urged to stay safe, think about their actions and ensure that they are following the new national restrictions that come into effect across England from Thursday.

Halton Borough Council is also supporting the RSPCA’s #BangOutOfOrder campaign, actively enforcing current regulations, inspecting sellers and urging the Government to control the volume and dates fireworks can be set off.

In recent years, organised displays have dramatically reduced the number of serious fires and injuries seen around 5 November. However with current restrictions, these organised events cannot take place this year.

With a recent poll suggesting more people may be planning to hold private displays in their back gardens, there is a concern that more demands will be placed on emergency services and environmental health services as additional calls are received about animals and fireworks.

Station Manager and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Deliberate Fire Reduction lead, Andy Gray, said: “Our number one priority is public safety and with organised displays cancelled this year we are concerned that people will turn to lighting fires and setting fireworks off themselves.

“Our message is clear – please do not be tempted to do so. Any fire can so easily get out of hand and spread to fences, sheds, properties and could cause fatal or life changing injuries, at the same time putting extra strain on emergency services and the NHS.

“Fireworks also can be dangerous if not used correctly and safely and can cause great distress to many people and their animals, so we’d encourage people to consider safer options to celebrate the bonfire period this year.”

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Community Safety, Councillor Dave Cargill, said “We are very grateful for the support the residents of Halton have shown during the current pandemic.

“However, during the coming weeks we need that support even more. Support us in reducing deliberate fires by ensuring wheelie bins and rubbish are not left out in the open – once your bin has been emptied please ensure you put it away securely.

“We also want residents to enjoy themselves, but stay within the rules to ensure the virus cannot spread any further.”

The Government has announced new tighter national restrictions that come into effect in England on November 5. These new restrictions means you must not meet socially indoors, with family or friends unless they are part of your household or your support bubble. You must not invite others to a ‘bonfire party’ in your garden.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together.

If you see large quantities of rubbish being piled up in a public area please report it to Halton Borough Council on 0303 333 4300.

For full details on the restrictions currently in place go to www.gov.uk or read the frequently asked questions on www.halton.go.vuk

For more information on #BangOutOfOrder see https://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/fireworks

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