"WE need our firefighters for real emergencies."

So says Ros Clarke, fire prevention officer for the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, which is urging people not to have their own fireworks displays at home this year.

The service is urging the public to stay safe and protect the emergency services by not having fireworks and bonfires at home, saying home bonfires and fireworks can cause incidents and injury which can put pressure on the emergency services.

Ros said: “Bonfire night and the days surrounding it are notoriously busy for the fire and rescue service.

"Attending bonfires can have a knock-on effect on the availability of our fire appliances and can cost us life-saving minutes in getting to house fires or other operational incidents.

"We need our firefighters for real emergencies. By attending an official display, you can help ensure that our resources aren’t delayed for someone who really needs our assistance.”

If you insist on doing something at home this bonfire night, the service has issued a number of safety tips:

1. Read our safety advice

Store fireworks safely, and keep fires and fireworks well away from anything that could burn, such as sheds, fences and your home. Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby, and never leave anything unattended. Read our firework safety guidance at dsfire.gov.uk.

2. Let your neighbours know

Please also let your neighbours know if you’re having a bonfire or fireworks so they don’t think it’s an emergency and call us unnecessarily. Be mindful that Thatch properties are extremely vulnerable to catch fire from bonfire embers and fireworks.

3. Let the fire service know

Most of the incidents we attend on bonfire night are false alarms. Let us know whenever you’re having a bonfire by calling on 0333 399 0014. This is so we can avoid sending firefighters out to bonfires when they’re not needed.