Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bonfire danger warning as firefighters set to strike
People have been warned against holding private bonfire celebrations tomorrow night with the fire service being massively depleted due to a firefighters’ strike.
Industrial action between 6.30pm and 11pm will mean that West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will be running at half capacity, with stations and engines being manned by teams made up of non-striking professionals and volunteer firefighters.
With the action happening only a day after Halloween, and a few days before Bonfire Night, fire chiefs have asked the public to “postpone their festivities” to a later date.
They say the night is a “notoriously busy one” for firefighters, but with fewer staff available having to deal with calls like out of control bonfires could divert them from potentially life threatening incidents.
The strike is one of two planned, the other being on Monday between 6am and 8am. They are in response to pension changes being introduced by the Government.
Contingency plans for a major incident include calling up the Army.
Ian Bitcon, fire safety area manager, said: “As Bonfire Night falls on a Tuesday this year people may be tempted to start their celebrationson Friday.
“Private bonfires can quickly get out of control and fireworks, if handled incorrectly, can present a major danger.
“Due to strike action we will have a reduced professional service, with about half of our normal fire engine capacity in operation.
“With this in mind we are asking the public to help keep everyone safe by saving their festivities until normal service is resumed.
“We would always recommend that you attend an organised event rather than celebrating at home or a friend’s house.”
Mr Bitcon urged people to attend the numerous organised displays and bonfires being held in the coming week.
He also reminded people of the consequences of breaking the law on bonfire night.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place or to throw or discharge a firework in a street or a public place.
An on-the-spot fine of £80 can be issued by the police for either of the above.
It is illegal to supply Category Four (professional display) fireworks to any non-professional. Only people with specialist knowledge are permitted to possess such fireworks.
It is illegal to sell adult fireworks or sparklers to anyone under the age of 18.
These offences can result in a prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to six months.
Comments are closed on this article.