Bonfire warning after rise in incidents

Published Monday, 30 June 2014
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People are being warned about the dangers of building and attending bonfires, after last year saw the number of related incidents attended by fire crews almost double on the previous year.

Bonfire warning after rise in incidents
Bonfires are lit across Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night. (© Getty)

Bonfires are usually built weeks in advance of being lit on the Eleventh Night.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service had noted a downward trend in call-outs to bonfires from 6pm on 11 July to 8am on 12 July in previous years.

But the figure jumped to 54 last July - up from 29 in 2012.

Firefighters are not out to spoil anyone's fun - their job is to protect life and property from the dangers of fire.


Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dale Ashford warned that bonfires must be built at a safe distance from homes and without hazardous materials like tyres or petrol which creates explosive vapours.

"Bonfires can easily get out of control if they are not built safely and properly supervised and, in recent weeks and months, we have been working hard with local communities and other statutory agencies to provide our bonfire safety advice," he said.

"I also want to remind people attending bonfires that, if you see your local firefighters, it's because someone in that area is concerned and has contacted us for help.

"I'm asking the local community for their support to ensure that firefighters are able to carry out their job without fear of attack or harassment."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Tommy Atkins in London England wrote (210 days ago):
This crude behavior would not be tolerated any other part of the civilized world
lucylou in belfast wrote (210 days ago):
Michael in Templepatrick===yeah Michael, I'm a nice fair person. HATE one sided comments.
CS in Belfast wrote (211 days ago):
Ban all bonfires along with all flags. I have seen many more and may i say new flags put up over the past few days however those who claim to love their flags (all sides included) leave them flying until they are in tatters and filthy. I dont need a flag to know what i am. I am confident in my nationality and the bonfires are a blight on the community health, wealth and landscape. They are an excuse for drinking and not family friendly.
Michael in Templepatrick wrote (211 days ago):
LucyLou thats why i said they're all eyesores. Nice of you to point out the ONE at Divis though for the sake of fairness and all ...
jo in belfast wrote (212 days ago):
it is once a year for dear sake....for all those concerned about the environment i would hazard a guess and say they wouldn't give up their cars which are a constant source of pollution
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