The First Minister has urged Scots to follow advice given by the chief fire officer on how to enjoy Bonfire Night responsibly.
During Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing, Martin Bluden from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service asked Scots to be mindful of others and to follow social distancing guidelines while celebrating.
“This year Bonfire Night is going to feel very different and at this usual time for celebration, I’m asking you to take greater care than you would normally have done so,” said Mr Bluden.
“The cancellation of many of the organised displays across Scotland may mean that you are considering private displays in your own garden.
“If you are considering doing that, please remember the Covid restrictions of no more than six people from a maximum of two households in your garden.
“If you are thinking of a private display, be kind. Think of those with sensory impairments or neurological differences such as autism, think about older people and think about people with pets, those people who may be affected by your display.”
Mr Blunden said that last year fire crews attended 760 incidents, 90% of which were deliberate incidents or deliberate fires.
He added: “It’s very important that we do everything to reduce the strain on the emergency services during this time to make sure we’re available for other emergencies as they occur.”
Mr Bluden asked members of the public to only buy fireworks from reputable retailers, to be mindful of giving sparklers to children and to not accelerate bonfires with paraffin.
“If you’re going to have a bonfire, please dont use paraffin or petrol to light your bonfire, and once your bonfire is lit, don’t then leave it unattended,” he said.
“[Sparklers] are one of the most dangerous fireworks you could give to a small person. Please don’t give them to someone under five, please light them singularly, supervise children when using them.
“We can all do our part in remembering how dangerous bonfires and fireworks can be and be kind, smart and safe as we celebrate this year’s Bonfire Night.”
Following Mr Bluden’s comments, Nicola Sturgeon thanked firefighters for their hard work during the pandemic.
She said: “The fire and rescue service is an integral and important and highly valued part of Scotland’s response to situations like the pandemic.
“They do a tremendous job and my thanks go to all of our firefighters and the staff who support them across the country.
“All of that advice should be followed for your own safety and the safety of those around you.
“When you think about how you’re going to behave on Bonfire Night, also think about the experiences of our firefighters and don’t act in a way that puts added pressure on those who put their own lives in danger to keep the rest of us safe.”