Safety plea to Hartlepool folk ahead of bonfire events

People are being urged to be be safe over the busy bonfire period.
People are being urged to be be safe over the busy bonfire period.

Hartlepool residents are being urged to stay safe during the bonfire season.

The advice comes from Cleveland Fire Brigade as it prepares for the annual increase in activities.

Last year unofficial bonfires, which are classed as arson, cost the local economy nearly half a million pounds over the four-week bonfire period (October 50 to November 7).

The brigade will be working together with Cleveland Police and councils for the next few weeks on initiatives including patrolling hot-spot areas, school visits and removing bonfire rubbish.

Fire and police chiefs are also calling on the local community to help reduce deliberate fires by reporting unofficial bonfires, or rubbish that could potentially be set alight, to their local councils to be removed.

Residents and businesses can also help by ensuring wheelie bins are secured and away from buildings.

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer said: “Although arson on the whole has reduced in our area, the period leading up to bonfire night and just after still continues to be one of the busiest times for us.

“Not only do these fires cause a nuisance to local people and greatly impact on the community as a whole, they tie up fire engines that should be undertaking vital life-saving prevention work or attending real emergencies.

“We want everyone to enjoy this year’s bonfire period but we want them to do it safely so our message is quite simple: ‘Be Safe not Sorry’.”

Chief Superintendent Gordon Lang, Head of Neighbourhood and Partnership Poling at Cleveland Police, said there will be additional patrols during the busy period and he is urging the public to report any incidents immediately.