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N.L. residents urged to be safety-conscious on Guy Fawkes Night

Bonfire Night at Elizabeth Swan Park
Guy Fawkes Night is commemorated annually on Nov. 5. File photo

Fire and government officials are asking the public to use common sense if they are going to have a bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night.

This request is made each year on Guy Fawkes Night, the anniversary of the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot in London, U.K., on Nov. 5, 1605.

A group of Roman Catholic revolutionaries furious at the persecution of their faith in England plotted to blow up the palace of Westminster and everyone in it.

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador are asked to not burn plastics, tires, asphalt products, paint products, used oil, household garbage and treated wood. These are against the law.

In areas where bonfires are permissible, residents are encouraged to attend a community-sponsored event.

Those who choose to hold a private bonfire, are asked to ensure they comply with regulations and legislation, and contact their municipality, local service district, Inuit community government, or local fire department, and use caution and follow this protocol:

• Fires should be placed on a gravel base, eight to 10 metres from trees or structures.

• Bonfire organizers should ensure ready access to fire extinguishing tools and supplies.

• Once finished, the fire should be fully extinguished using water and/or gravel.

• Only adults should add material to the fire.

• Children should be kept at a safe distance at all times and closely supervised by parents/guardians around a bonfire.

• Flammable liquids should not be used to start or accelerate a fire.

• Aerosol cans and pressurized gas cylinders such as propane tanks should not be added to a fire.

• Property owners in the area of the fire should ensure all combustible materials are properly secured.

• Tidy up the area at the end of the event and return the bonfire area to its previous condition.

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