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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-11-11

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Merseyside firefighters called to over 50% fewer bonfire related incidents than in 2016

FIREFIGHTERS attended over 50% fewer emergency calls relating to bonfires across Merseyside on Bonfire Night, Sunday, 5 November 2017, than on the same date in 2016. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service attended 17 bonfire related fires between 12.01am and 12pm on Sunday, November 5 2017 as opposed to 41, on 5 November 2016. Liverpool and Wirral had the highest number of bonfire related incidents, with fire crews attending 6 in each borough, with Sefton recording the next highest number with 3 incidents involving bonfires. Firefighters were called to 2 incidents involving bonfires in Knowsley, however no bonfire-related incidents were reported in St Helens.

Deliberately set fires (including those relating to bonfires) were also down across Merseyside, on 5 November 2017, from 81 in 2016 to 60 in 2017, marking a 25.9% reduction in call outs overall. Sefton saw the largest decrease, from 17 deliberately set fires in 2016 down to just 5 in 2017, with St Helens seeing the next largest reduction, from 13 down to 2. Altogether, firefighters were called to 60 deliberately set fires (including bonfire related fires) across Merseyside on Sunday, 5 November 2017, as opposed to 81 on the same night in 2016. Crews also attended 3 incidents related to fireworks (2 in Liverpool and 1 in Sefton), down from 4 incidents in 2016.

Station Manager Paul Kay, arson reduction co-ordinator for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said:-  "We are pleased that the vast majority of people across Merseyside enjoyed a safe Bonfire Night. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has been involved in extensive planning and partnership work with Merseyside Police, local Councils, Schools and businesses in the run up to Bonfire Night, issuing a wide range of safety messages to help reduce nuisance fires and help keep people safe. In recent weeks, our firefighters and prevention teams have been out in communities clearing away hazardous rubbish and fly tipping, which could have been used as fuel for fires, and promoting the safe storage of wheelie bins to help prevent them becoming targets for arson. Crews have also visited Primary and Secondary Schools across Merseyside to spread safety messages and give information about the law surrounding fireworks. It's very encouraging to see that the planning and partnership work we have carried out has had a positive effect this year. We are very thankful to our communities for taking on board all our safety messages and advice."

As we move in to winter, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service urges everyone to make sure they have at least 1 working smoke alarm in their home and to ensure it is tested regularly.  For free fire safety advice or to request a home fire safety check, call:- 0800 731 5958.  Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service also provides free smoke alarms for Merseyside residents aged 65 or over.


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