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Be fire aware over VE Day and Bank Holiday weekend

Cornwall’s Fire and Rescue teams are dealing with fire and traffic incidents - and they’re also helping the Ambulance service respond to the Covid 19 health crisis.  

So, more than ever, they are asking people to think twice and avoid fire risks over this coming long weekend.  

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It may be tempting to light barbecues, burn garden waste, or drive a little further than is strictly ‘essential’ - even to drink a little more than is wise while in charge of the Sunday roast.  

But lockdown is still in place, and we urge residents to follow the government’s guidelines on staying at home, staying safe, and avoiding non-essential travel. 

Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection, said: “Victory in Europe Day marked the end of a massive national effort and years of hardship. But, sadly, we won’t be able to celebrate its 75th anniversary this Friday with street parties, gatherings and other large celebrations as we may have hoped.

“Instead we must all remain cautious and considerate, and make sure our emergency services aren’t diverted to incidents that could easily have been avoided.”

  • If you and your household are firing up the barbecue at home this weekend, remember to position it away from sheds, fences and trees. Someone must keep an eye on it at all times, have a bucket of water or an extinguisher to hand, and avoid windy weather where sparks can drift.
  • Cornwall Fire & Rescue strongly advises against bonfires at present, and the Council’s Environmental Health team warns that burning smoky garden waste and painted debris can upset neighbours and aggravate respiratory conditions when windows are open.>
  • Don’t set off fireworks in dry conditions or near pets, and we do not approve of flying lanterns which have a naked flame, and wire components that can choke livestock.
  • Cornwall Council backs the RNLI’s recommendation against going into, or onto, the sea while there are no lifeguards in post. If your home or exercise route is near coast or river, please take extra care, especially on the coast path in strong winds. More advice on water safety here.
  • Be careful at home with electrical appliances (the second most common cause of accidental house fires) and if you are an indoor smoker, remember that every six days someone dies in a fire caused by a cigarette or smoking materials. Even during lockdown it’s much safer to step outside or into your garden to smoke. 

Cllr Nolan added: “We all have a responsibility to avoid putting extra strain on our emergency services. This VE Day recalls a huge national effort, and tackling the virus requires the same. Stay safe, stay home, and one day soon we’ll be celebrating victory against Coronavirus.”

There is a wealth of fire safety advice on our website, and follow Cornwall Fire and Rescue on Twitter or Facebook.