A message from the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging residents in West Sussex to keep safe this bonfire and fireworks season. With many organised events cancelled, emergency services are preparing for a busier night than usual as people celebrate in their own gardens.
We are asking everyone to show RESPECT this Bonfire Night.

 Respect the Firework

 Nicki Peddle, Head of Prevention, said: “Whilst most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause real misery. Remember that fireworks are explosives, and as such should be treated with respect and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Firework Code.”

 The Firework Code:

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm
  • Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  • Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  • Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  • Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Respect the Emergency Services

 With the impact of COVID-19, we are asking people not to take risks, putting additional pressures on our emergency services.
Injuries can be prevented by following the Firework Code. If you do suffer a burn, ensure you:

  • Cool the burn under cold running water for at least ten minutes.
  • After the burn has been cooled, cover it with cling film or a clean plastic bag.
  • Call 999 if necessary. Always seek medical advice for a baby or child that has been burned.”

Respect your neighbours (and animals!)

 Fireworks can frighten people and animals. The elderly and children are frequently scared and intimidated by firework noise. After all, fireworks are explosives. Tell your neighbours if you’re a planning on letting off fireworks and avoid purchasing really noisy ones. Please be considerate when having a firework party and make sure the noise is over by 11pm.

You must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except for:

  • Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight
  • New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am

We want to remind people that you must be over 18 to purchase fireworks and that it is illegal to set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places.

You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

Fireworks can also cause a great deal of distress to animals. We are supporting RSPCA’s ‘Bang Out Of Order’ campaign, encouraging the responsible use of fireworks and the adoption of tighter regulations concerning their use.