Bonfire Night 2011 saw the fewest number of fires across the capital since records began, according to initial figures from the London Fire Brigade.
Preliminary figures show that the number of fires fell this year despite expectations that Bonfire Night would be busier than usual due to it falling on a Saturday. The capital’s fire crews were called to deal with around 130 fires, almost a third fewer compared to 2010, when they were called to deal with 175 blazes. The Brigade says that this is, in part, due to its effective communication of fire safety messages to the public in the run up to Bonfire Night and on the night itself.
London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said:
“I’m pleased to be able to say that this year’s Bonfire Night passed off without major incident. There were far fewer fires on November 5th and our Bonfire Night twitterthon and the publicity that surrounded it played a big part in this. It enabled us to get the message across about how to stay safe.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to the crews and control officers who were on duty that night. Despite it being a quieter Bonfire Night than usual, it was still incredibly busy but our staff handled it extremely well.”
Between 4pm and midnight on November 5th, the Brigade (@LondonFire) tweeted about every single fire its crews were called out to and a total of 128 tweets were sent. Tweets were sent about a range of incidents, including a huge number of out of control bonfires and several blazes caused by stray fireworks, including one in Peckham where a firework caused a serious blaze on the balcony of a flat. The Brigade received an overwhelming level of public support via Twitter on the night and several of the Brigade’s tweets were retweeted by hundreds of people.
As a result of the twitterthon, the Brigade increased its Twitter followers more than 25 per cent, to over 14,500.
Notes to editors
You can find the Brigade @LondonFire on Twitter.
For a borough by borough breakdown of the Bonfire Night fires, please contact Emma Cullen in the Brigade’s press office on 020 8536 5922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org