BE safe, not sorry this Bonfire Night.
That is the message from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service as it launches its campaign urging youngsters to have fun while staying safe on and around November 5.
In the run-up to fire crews’ busiest day, they will be visiting secondary schools across Sunderland to spread their safety message.
And to help them, an emotive DVD and poster campaign has been produced that graphically reveals the dangers of playing with fire.
Four youngsters from across the region, who have had to rebuild their lives after being seriously injured by fire, also share the devastating effects playing with fire can have.
John Allison, group manager for Sunderland, said: “We really do want people to be safe, not sorry and we are really pushing for people to attend an organised display rather than have their own.
“This year we are using the experiences of kids who have suffered from burns on a DVD, which we will be showing in schools across Sunderland.
“Hopefully this will help send out the powerful message that playing with fire is dangerous and has serious consequences.
“Fireworks are not toys and should not be played with. They can cause very, very serious burns as we find year after year.”
Area manager John Baines added: “We want everyone to enjoy Bonfire Night.
“However, bonfires and fireworks can cause devastating injuries and even kill you, so we’re asking everyone to take extra care and make sure this doesn’t happen to you or your loved ones.”
The fire service has also teamed up with Sunderland City Council, who will be on hand to remove and destroy any illegal bonfires reported to them.
Fire crews will also be paying visits to shops and to ensure they are storing fireworks safely.
And they will be working with police to tackle antisocial behaviour and the misuse of fireworks and bonfires.
Superintendent Gillian Mitchell said: “We want Bonfire Night celebrations to be fun and exciting and, above all, safe.
“With this in mind, we would urge people to visit one of the many organised displays taking place across the region.
“By working together, we can make sure Bonfire Night is remembered for all the right reasons.”
To view the safety video, visit www.twfire.gov.uk/bonfire