Sports fans and concert goers warned about dangers of smoke bombs and flares

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Police and the fire service are warning the public about the dangers of taking smoke bombs and flares to large gatherings of people.

In recent years, pyrotechnics have become more common at football stadiums and concerts across the country.

However, emergency services are highlighting the dangers and injuries associated with their misuse.

Some pyrotechnics reach temperatures of 1200 degrees and can continue to burn even when discarded.

Assistant Chief Officer Ross Haggart, director of prevention and protection for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), warned: “We are seeing a variety of pyrotechnics being used at stadiums and events across Scotland.

“Some people perhaps think it is a way of creating an atmosphere or promoting their team, but all forms of pyro – flares, smoke bombs and flash bangs – pose risks.

“There have been examples of flares being thrown on to pitches or towards individuals. People need to understand the potential consequences being struck by such an item can have – a flare can inflict life-threatening injuries.

“There’s also the added threat brought by smoke grenades, which emit toxic substances and can cause respiratory difficulty for people who are simply there to enjoy a match or take in a concert.”

ACO Haggart added: “Ultimately, the overall message is a simple one – leave pyro to the professionals who host large-scale events.

“Along with our partners, we’re absolutely committed to keeping Scotland safe – and we’d urge our communities to help us do so by working together to stamp out this dangerous behaviour.”

Police Scotland’s Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said: “There is ‘no place for pyro’ at concerts or football.

“They are dangerous and can cause serious and life changing injuries – most of all to the people using them.

“Please be considerate of your fellow fans and the general public, both inside and outside venues.

“Taking pyrotechnics or fireworks into a designated sporting event or any other venue is a criminal offence.

“If you know of anyone who carries pyrotechnics or uses them at events or football, please discourage them and report it to a steward or to the police.”

Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham MSP, added: “There is no question about the potential serious harm pyrotechnics can cause, and this is completely unacceptable.

“It is time to face up to the risks and dangers they can cause and leave pyrotechnic displays to the experts.”