County Durham residents are being urged to celebrate this year’s Bonfire Night in the safest way possible by attending official public firework displays.

Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “Around 1,000 people are injured by fireworks in the UK every year, with 5 per cent of those injuries suffered being serious.

“The majority of firework-related injuries happen at family or private parties, with around half of those injuries happening to children under the age of 17.

“So stay safe this year and attend one of the official public fireworks displays that will be taking place throughout County Durham.”

Organised public fireworks displays taking place in County Durham on the Bonfire Night weekend include:

  • Saturday 4 November 2017 – Framwellgate School, Durham, DH1 5BQ.
  • Saturday 4 November 2017 – Peterlee Fireworks Night, Helford Road, Peterlee.
  • Saturday 4 November 2017 – Consett Football Club.
  • Sunday 5 November 2017 – Chester-le-Street Riverside.
  • Sunday 5 November 2017 – Sedgefield, Hardwick Hall Hotel.
  • Monday 6 November 2017 – Beamish Hall, Beamish, Stanley, DH9 0YB.

To help make Bonfire Night safer, The Safe Durham Partnership, of which Durham County Council is a leading partner, has been carrying out precautionary measures in the run up to the weekend.

Alongside representatives from Durham Constabulary and Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue, council employees have been carrying out:

  • Combined visits from police and fire officers into local schools.
  • Routine garden checks by estate managers.
  • Distribution of information leaflets on ‘Fireworks and the Law’ throughout the county.
  • Removal of illegal bonfires and other potential fuel material by council environmental staff.
  • Patrols of known hotspot areas by police and council neighbourhood wardens
  • Visits by trading standards officers to retailers, reminding them of their legal duties regarding the sale of fireworks.
  • Follow- up actions from all reports of the sale of illegal fireworks and the sale of fireworks to people under the age of 18.

Cllr Hovvels added: “Although we want people to enjoy Bonfire Night, we want to make sure that people stay safe throughout the weekend and our officers, as part of The Safe Durham Partnership, will be carrying out routine checks of businesses, public spaces and hotspot areas to make sure of that.

“If you do decide to host your own Bonfire Night party, make sure you follow the firework code and take every precaution to keep safe.”

Further information on public fireworks displays and the laws regarding the sale of fireworks can be found at: www.durham.gov.uk/fireworks

The firework code, and other useful safety tips, can be found at: www.ddfire.gov.uk