Celebrate safely during the Coronation, say fire chiefs

As celebrations start ramping up for the Coronation, leading firefighters are urging people in West Yorkshire to stay safe while enjoying the bank holiday festivities.

Celebrate safely during the Coronation weekend

The Coronation of Their Majesties The King and Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6 – however, the partying is expected to continue throughout the weekend.

Extended pub hours from Friday to Sunday will see drinking carrying on until the early hours, and revellers are expected to be enjoying barbecues and house parties as they toast the royal couple.

However, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has advised that wherever celebrations are taking place, people need to be careful about the risks involved.

Leeds District Commander Toby May said: “The Coronation is a time to celebrate with family and friends and we hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. One way to ensure this is a happy occasion is to be mindful of the risks that are involved in any celebration.

“As the weather warms up more people will be enjoying barbecues, and this can be done safely if guidance is followed. Also, we would ask people to drink responsibly and please be careful in the hot weather. We often see a rise in people entering in-land water courses in areas where it is not safe to swim, where people are genuinely putting their lives at risk. Please enjoy the festivities but also please do this responsibly. If anybody does witness someone in difficulty in the water, please call 999, ask for the Fire and Rescue Service and give an exact location”.

His warning comes after this bank holiday weekend just gone, WYFRS were involved in two water rescues in Leeds city centre late on Saturday night and in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The first incident was at 11.30pm on Concordia Street in the city centre when crews from Leeds, Hunslet, and Rothwell attended along with a technical rescue officer. A boat was used to rescue a woman who was then cared for by ambulance staff. And just before 2am, the same crews were called to a separate incident at Bridge End as a man also needed rescuing from the River Aire.

District Commander May added: “We’re proud at WYRFS to be supporting this historic occasion and we are working closely with our partners to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to help everyone have a safe and enjoyable Coronation weekend”.

“With just a few days to go, l would encourage anybody who is planning to celebrate the Coronation to read through our safety advice. That way they can help ensure they keep themselves and everyone around them safe this weekend.”

To find out more about the emergency services visit Piece Hall, Halifax on Sunday May 7 from 9.30am to 4 pm to celebrate Emergency Services Day and the coronation weekend. This is a fantastic opportunity to show your appreciation for the brave and hardworking emergency service workers who protect and serve your community. Chat with local firefighters, police officers, ambulance personnel, and other rescue service professionals, and learn about the vital work they do to keep us safe and secure.

Safety advice for the Coronation weekend:

If you are celebrating at home:

  • Make sure to create a clear evacuation plan in case of a fire emergency.
  • Ensure that all smoke detectors and fire alarms in your home are functioning properly.
  • Keep flammable materials, such as decorations, away from heat sources and open flames.
  • If using candles, make sure they are placed in sturdy, non-flammable holders and are kept away from flammable materials.
  • If you plan to use a barbecues or other outdoor cooking equipment, keep it at least 10 feet away from any combustible materials, and never leave it unattended.
  • Dispose of ashes and coals from grills in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid and keep it outside the home and away from flammable materials until they have completely cooled.
  • Never leave children unattended near open flames or cooking equipment.
  • Have a designated "fire watcher" who is responsible for monitoring potential fire hazards throughout the party.
  • Finally, make sure that all guests are aware of the safety guidelines and know what to do in case of a fire emergency.

If you are organising a community / street party:

  • Conduct a risk assessment to identify any potential fire hazards or other safety risks. This should include the number of people attending, the location of the event, the proximity of buildings and other structures, and the availability of emergency services.
  • Plan for emergency situations by having a clear evacuation plan in place, identifying the location of fire extinguishers, and ensuring everyone knows how to contact emergency services.
  • Assign a person or team responsible for monitoring the event for any potential safety hazards and handling any emergencies that may arise.
  • Ensure that all decorations, equipment, and materials used at the event are fire safe and do not pose a risk to participants or nearby buildings.
  • Follow fire safety guidelines such as keeping a safe distance from open flames and ensuring that smoking materials are properly extinguished.

If you’re enjoying a night out:

  • If you see someone who has fallen in the water, never enter the water to try and save someone, even if you are a strong swimmer, call 999 and ask for the fire service.
  • If the weather is warm, don’t be tempted to swim in open water, such as rivers, lakes, canals and quarries to cool off.
  • Make sure friends and family are safe and they get a taxi instead of walking home alone, especially if their route takes them past a river or canal.

Further information is available via the WYFRS website: