Think twice before lighting a bonfire

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council are urging people not to light bonfires during the coronavirus lockdown.

Bonfire

The Fire Service is warning of the risks to public safety if bonfires get out of control, on top of the extra strain responding to incidents puts on its resources.

The council - which has received a rising number of complaints since government restrictions were introduced - is also concerned about the health impact of smoke on neighbours, especially if they are unwell or self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms.

Group Commander, Rad Bristow, from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue said: "Bonfires can become out of control very quickly - only this week we were called to a serious incident in the borough that could have led to serious consequences if it had not been brought under control by the crew. These incidents are avoidable and put extra pressure on the emergency services - please think very carefully about what you are doing."

Bernard Sarson, Executive Member for Community Safety at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said: "We urge you not to light bonfires during this outbreak, and to consider the impact it could have on your neighbours.

"At a time when people are under a lot more stress, smoke nuisance can lead to arguments between neighbours. Please consider our advice on home composting instead."

Concerns about bonfires can be reported to the council's environmental health team on e.health@welhat.gov.uk. Home composting advice is available at: one.welhat.gov.uk/home-composting