Firework incident sparks safety warning


Firefighters are warning of the dangers of playing with fireworks after a stray rocket flew into the loft space of a flat in Chichester yesterday (October 27).

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service was called to a block of flats on Southdown Close at 4.09pm yesterday afternoon after smoke was seen issuing from the roof of the property.

Fortunately, the rocket, which is believed to have come from a group of children letting off fireworks at the rear of the property, burnt itself out before the fire could spread.

Watch Commander Carl Halewood, from Chichester Fire Station, who was in charge at the scene, said:
“It is very fortunate that nobody was hurt in this incident, because this could have had a much more serious outcome. People shouldn’t forget that fireworks are explosives and can be extremely dangerous.
“In the run up to Bonfire Night I would urge parents to warn their children about the danger of fireworks both to themselves and to others. Only adults should be lighting fireworks.

“We want people to enjoy fireworks in safety so we always recommend that people go to an organised community display, rather than be tempted to have firework parties at home.”

For anyone who does intend to hold their own firework displays this bonfire season, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers the following advice:

  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Follow the instructions on each firework 
  • Light fireworks at arms-length using a taper and stand well back
  • Never go back to a lit firework - even if it hasn't gone off it could still explode
  • Never throw fireworks or put them in your pocket
  • Direct rockets well away from spectators
  • Stay in full control if you're lighting fireworks - avoiding alcohol is the safest option

For more firework and bonfire safety advice visit the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

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Last updated:
6 February 2018

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