The Fire & Rescue Service has issued a safety warning as young people begin amassing materials on the eve of the bonfire season.
Senior fire officers have urged people to act responsibly and stay safe when building or attending bonfires throughout this summer.
Last year, fire crews attended 44 bonfire-related incidents on the ‘11th Night’ across the North. The following month fire fighters were also called to deal with an August 15th bonfire in the Bogside, with multi-agency talks already taking place ahead of another planned bonfire this summer at Meenan Square.
Collections are already under way for the ‘11th Night’ bonfires in The Fountain and other areas. Alan Walmsley, Assistant Chief Fire Officer said they wanted people to be safe, act responsibly and use common sense when building and attending bonfires.
Mr Walmsley said: “Bonfires can easily get out of control if they are not built safely and properly supervised. In recent months we have been working hard with local communities and other statutory agencies to provide our bonfire safety advice. Bonfires should be kept to a manageable size and sited in a clear, open space, at a safe distance from buildings and overhead cables. The bonfire should be a minimum distance of five times its height from property. It should not contain any potentially hazardous materials or tyres and never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin, as these can produce explosive vapours.” He added: “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.
“Remember, should your bonfire get out of control call 999 immediately.”
Bonfire Safety Advice can be found on www.nifrs.org/fire-safety/bonfire-safety-advice/.