Firefighters are urging families to stick to organised displays on Bonfire Night in a bid to avoid unnecessary injuries.

Traditionally, November 5 is a time for people to gather for celebrations featuring flames and fireworks.

However, every year, a number of casualties are reported, with many people left badly injured while attending a small display in their own garden.

Now a plea has been issued by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) for families to attend organised events, where stricter safety controls are in place.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, of the SFRS, said: “It absolutely goes without saying that we prefer to prevent fires, not fight fires.

“As a result, our firefighters work extremely hard to engage with people of all ages and equip them with the knowledge and the awareness of how to stay safe.

“This includes around bonfires and fireworks but we would prefer everyone to attend organised displays.”

Mr McGown has also stressed that firefighters will be working closely with police – both during the run-up to Bonfire Night and on November 5 itself – to target anyone who deliberately starts an unsafe blaze.

He added: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has a zero tolerance approach to deliberate fireraising because it puts our communities at great risk.

“It presents a danger to life, property and the environment. Indeed, it is reckless in the extreme because we see all too clearly the loss and the devastation that can result from fire.

“I am pleased to note a reduction in the amount of deliberate incidents we attended last year but we can never be complacent and we will always work to prevent them from happening in the first place by outlining the very real dangers and the stark consequences.

“We will continue to work closely with our police and local authority partners to ensure that those responsible are identified and dealt with accordingly.

“This behaviour from a very small minority within our communities cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Anyone with information about deliberate fire-raising is asked to call the free and confidential Crimestoppers helpline on 0800 555 111.

For advice on how to stay safe during Bonfire Night, go online at