London Fire Brigade

@LondonFire gets gold for bonfire night safety campaign

07 March 2012

A Bonfire Night safety campaign by the London Fire Brigade has won a gold award at the prestigious Fresh Public Relations Awards.

The campaign saw LFB tweet live about every fire it attended on the night of November 5. Their twitter account @LondonFire increased by over 2,000 followers and safety messages were seen by millions of people.

The twitterthon called ‘Remember Remember the Tweet of November’ struck Gold in the Freshest Digital Media or Social Networking Campaign category. The Brigade was also shortlisted in the top 5 in The Grand Prix, for the best overall entry in the competition.

The Brigade held the world’s first ever live Bonfire Night twitterthon in a bid to reduce the number of fires caused by raging bonfires and out of control fireworks. A report published last year showed that 2011 Guy Fawkes Night on record was the quietest on record.

The report puts the drop in fires down to a triple whammy of factors that saw people curtail their usual Bonfire Night plans. Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor meant more people stayed inside to watch TV or finished their celebrations early. The London Fire Brigade’s live Tweetathon, where it tweeted live to thousands of people about every Bonfire Night fire, also encouraged people who were celebrating to stay safe.

For example, on tweet read, “If you’re going inside to watch #xfactor, please make sure your bonfire is completely out,” and another, “If you’ve had a couple of cheeky #bonfirenight beers please don’t be tempted to light a firework (or bonfire), booze + fireworks = bad idea.”

London Fire Brigade’s twitter messages were seen by millions of people as the X Factor and Philip Schofield tweeted their millions of followers about the @londonfire Tweetathon.
Overall, firefighters went to 154 fires on November 5 this year, down 12 per cent on the previous year, making 2011 the quietest Bonfire Night in London since records began.

Deputy Commissioner, Rita Dexter, said:

“This award recognises our forward thinking Communications department, who are using fresh ideas, to get our safety messages across to those at risk from fire. The Brigade currently has 30,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook and is using this to help make London safer.

“I would also like to praise our firefighters who worked over the Bonfire weekend for responding to the hundreds of fires we attended in a professional and quick manner.”

Over 200 guests attended the ceremony in Manchester on Thursday, 1 March, to see which of the 48 different shortlisted organisations were recognised for their campaign activity during the last 12 months.

Notes to Editors

Bonfire night 2011: calls, incidents and communications activity report can be found here http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/Documents/FEP1852.pdf

Fresh is an independently owned organisation that works in conjunction with a variety of leading industry titles, delivering awards programmes designed to recognise and reward creativity, effectiveness and innovation in the Creative, Digital, Media and Communication arena’s in the UK and Ireland.