Mid Ulster’s firefighters urge people to ‘act responsibly’ around and with bonfires

NIFRS attended 16 bonfire-related incidents last night
NIFRS attended 16 bonfire-related incidents last night

Following a drop in the number of bonfire related incidents last year, the Fire Service is urging people to act responsibly to keep the trend up.

In Mid Ulster, two bonfire related incidents took place over 2015’s Eleventh night celebrations, while across Northern Ireland there were a total of 24.

But this was less than half the number of reports they had received in 2014 (51).

NIFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Alan Walmsley, said: “Firstly, it is very encouraging that Firefighters dealt with a 53 per cent reduction in the number of bonfire related incidents compared to 12 months previously.

“I must commend the continued engagement at local level between community leaders and NIFRS personnel in helping to decrease the number of bonfire related incidents across Northern Ireland.

“NIFRS plays a central role in protecting our community and we want people to be safe, act responsibly and use common sense when building and attending bonfires. They can easily get out of control if they are not built safely and properly supervised.

“Our advice is that bonfires should be kept at a manageable size and sited in a clear, open space at a safe distance from buildings and overhead cables. A bonfire should be a minimum distance of five times its height from property. It should not contain any potentially hazardous materials or tyres and never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin as these can produce explosive vapours.”

And if anyone is worried about the fire in their area, he added: “If your bonfire gets out of control, call 999 immediately and ask for the Fire & Rescue Service.”