London Fire Brigade

Brigade to set Twitter alight with Bonfire night tweets

01 November 2011

Twitter logoThe number of fires on Bonfire Night could rocket this year due to Guy Fawkes night falling on a Saturday, warn London’s fire chiefs. 

Sunday 5 November 2006, which was the last time Bonfire Night fell on a weekend, saw London’s firefighters  attend 460 fires and 999 control officers take 1,545 calls, averaging one call every minute. Overall, fire crews attended nearly 900 incidents across the day. This was more than double the number of fires attended on each of the last four bonfire nights, which fell on week nights.

The Brigade is so concerned about the number of fires, it will be holding 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. Throughout the evening of November 5th  the Brigade (@londonfire) will tweet about each of the hundreds of fires its crews are called out to and will be offering the public tips on how to stay safe.

This year, London’s firefighters  expect to be called out to around 500 fires and 999 control officers are expecting to receive around 1500 calls from concerned members of the public.

London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said:

“We’re concerned that the number of Bonfire Night fires could shoot up this year. That’s why we’re taking the extraordinary step of turning to Twitter in a bid to shock people into acting more safely.

“Many of the Bonfire Night fires we see can be easily prevented so we’re hoping the public will work with us this year to try and reduce the number of fires.

"If this initiative prevents just one person from being badly burned or losing their home to a fire then it will be more than worth it.”

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

For more advice on bonfire and firework safety, go to the firework safety section of the Brigade's website.

ENDS

Notes to editors

About the Bonfire Night Twitterthon

The Brigade’s Twitterthon will begin at 1600 on Saturday 5 November and is expected to end at midnight.

You can follow the Brigade’s tweets @LondonFire

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.

You can contact the Brigade’s press office for more information on 020 8536 5922 or email emma.cullen@london-fire.gov.uk.