London Fire Brigade

Bonfire Night fires down but more common sense needed

29 October 2012

Bonfire Night fires have dropped by two-thirds over the last five years, according to new figures released today by London Fire Brigade.

Last year’s 5 November was the quietest on record for the capital’s firefighters with 154 fires attended or a fire in London every 10 minutes. In 2006, fire crews attended around one fire every three minutes on bonfire night.

Despite the downward trend, fire chiefs are urging people not to be complacent and use ‘common sense’ over the Bonfire Night weekend.

The figures show that:

• There was a 48% decrease in the number of 999 calls on bonfire night last year compared with the same day five years ago
• Firefighters attended 477 incidents between 24 October and 10 November last year. In 2006, there were 891 for the same period

LFB’s Head of Operations, Prevention and Response Dave Brown said:

“We’ve seen a dramatic drop in bonfire night incidents but it is still shocking that we were called to one fire every 10 minutes on bonfire night last year.
“Many of the Bonfire Night fires we see can be easily prevented so we want people to use some common sense in a bid to reduce the number of fires. Working alongside the police and local councils we hope to further reduce fires over this period.”

The Brigade’s top three Bonfire Night tips are:

1. Attend organised displays – they’re much safer than holding your own

2. Never leave bonfires unattended and make sure they’re fully out before leaving them

3. Light bonfires well away from sheds, fences, bushes and trees

The best way to enjoy Bonfire Night is to attend an organised display. Details on London displays can be found here

Notes to editors

Firework safety

• If you are planning on holding your own firework display you should:

• Light fireworks at arms length using a taper and stand well back.

• Never go back to fireworks once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn't gone off, it could still explode.

• Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges.

• Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire.

• Don’t leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with plenty of water.