Bonfire night in 2011 was officially the quietest on record according to the London Fire Brigade, due in part to Strictly Come Dancing, and ITV’s X Factor.
Most years the number of calls to the brigade rises to a peak at 8pm, and then remains high for most of the remainder of the evening. However this year, fires peaked between 6pm and 7pm, then fell by around a third as Strictly Come Dancing started, and remained low for the rest of the night.
This meant the quietest Guy Fawkes night on record for London’s fire service, with 154 fires, down 12 per cent on 2010.
London Fire Brigade also pointed to their ‘live tweetathon’, which was highlighted by X Factor’s Twitter account, as well as others including Philip Schofield. One of the tweets read “If you’re going inside to watch #xfactor, please make sure your bonfire is completely out.” This tactic was key in attempting to reach young people who are engaged with social media, and generally less likely to take an interest in fire safety.
Ron Dobson, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said: “Bonfire Night is traditionally the busiest night of the year for firefighters up and down the country but this year was different. With Strictly and the X Factor encouraging people to stay inside and the London Fire Brigade highlighting the dangers of Bonfire Night live via Twitter, people were much more likely to stay safe.”