Remember, remember to stay safe this November.

That is the warning from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) as residents are urged to stay safe when planning their Bonfire Night and Diwali celebrations this year.

With many events cancelled due to the COVID-19 control measures in place, emergency services are preparing for a busier time than usual as celebrations are expected to take place in private gardens.

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Gail Muirhead, West Hub Prevention Manager, said: “Whilst most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause real misery. Remember that fireworks are explosives, and as such should be treated with respect and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Firework Code.

“We want everyone to enjoy their celebrations safely and while we are currently amidst a global pandemic, we are asking people not to take risks, putting additional pressures on our emergency services.”

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Please stay safe and follow the Firework Code:

• Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes by 11pm, except for Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight and Diwali, when the cut off is 1am.

• Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time.

• Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.

• Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back.

• Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.

• Never return to a firework once it has been lit.

• Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.

• Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.

• Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking residents to be considerate to their neighbours and avoid putting additional pressure on emergency services and the NHS by having a bonfire. But any bonfires that are built should stay well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures.

• Never burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint, petrol or paraffin.