BONFIRE night revellers are being urged to make sure their weekend is one to remember – for the right reasons.
Cleveland Fire Brigade is issuing a final appeal for people to put safety first as they get set to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night tomorrow.
Brigade bosses are also appealing to parents to play their part during the November 5 celebrations by knowing exactly where their children are and what they are up to.
Steve Johnson, arson reduction and fire investigation manager with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “We want everyone to remember November 5 for the right reasons and not for attending hospital with burns with your loved ones.
“Parents have a really important part to play in ensuring that their children do not come to any harm.
“I would like parents to ask themselves where their children are on Bonfire Night and whether they are doing enough to protect them from the dangers that arise year on year.”
Mr Johnson also urged people to attend an official firework event and report piles of rubbish or illegal bonfires so they can be removed.
The brigade has carried out a hard-hitting, three-week safety campaign which has included firefighters getting on their bikes to reach the heart of communities.
A DVD has also been shown in schools while leaflets and posters have gone on display.
The brigade has also used social media to get the warning message out as well as organising a series of activities for young people.
Figures compiled by the brigade show that between October 22 and November 12 last year, 65 people were taken to the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, alone after sustaining bonfire or firework-related injuries.
Jitu Desai, who owns G2 Fireworks, which has a shop in York Road, Hartlepool, and has organised displays and sold pyrotechnics for 30 years, is backing the brigade’s safety messages.
He told the Hartlepool Mail: “The main thing for people who want to have fireworks at home is to follow the Firework Code and then they can’t go far wrong.
“They must also make sure they buy from a reputable dealer and not from someone’s house or in the street because you don’t know what will happen after you light the fuse.
“If there is any doubt, don’t buy them. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
“There are also lots of organised displays where people can enjoy the biggest and loudest fireworks in complete safety.”