SAFETY messages are being delivered across Northumberland in the run up to Guy Fawkes Night.
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, Northumbria Police and officers from Northumberland County Council have all been out and about to warn of the dangers of fireworks and remove unauthorised bonfires.
Firefighters and police have been visiting schools to talk about the risks and enable pupils to ask questions.
And Police Community Support Officers are keeping a look-out for bonfires on public land, which will be reported to the council’s Neighbourhood Services Team for staff to remove the waste.
Meanwhile, Environmental Health and Health and Safety officers have issued warnings about adding dangerous or toxic items to bonfires in gardens.
Chief Fire Officer Alex Bennett said: “The enjoyment is often overshadowed by injuries caused by fireworks or unauthorised bonfires. These are usually extremely serious, blindness and scarring for life are not uncommon.
“We encourage people taking part in bonfire night to attend organised displays for their own safety and the safety of others. These events are much safer and more impressive than having fireworks at your own home.”
It is illegal to sell fireworks in any unlicensed premises and in the 53 outlets that are licensed in the county retailers are banned from selling them to under 18s.
It is also an offence for under 18s to buy fireworks or have them in their possession in a public place.
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Greg Vant said: “The safety of our communities is our main priority and we will deal firmly with anyone who poses a risk to others and their property. Officers will also be targeting any acts of anti-social behaviour which involves fireworks.”
Guy Fawkes Night is on Monday.
For safety advice or information about organised displays visit www.northumberland.gov.uk
To report accumulations of waste on public land call the council on 0845 600 6400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org