Beacons of safety

Risk Manager Mike Cordiner
Risk Manager Mike Cordiner

Fire chiefs today urged organisers of Diamond Jubilee Beacons across Deeside and Donside to ensure safety is their top concern at their events.

Beacons are expected to be lit between 10pm and 10.30pm on Monday (June 4) at the following locations: Summit of Creag Choinnich, Braemar (Braemar Scouts), Scolty Hill (St Ternan’s Fair Committee & Rotary Club of Banchory Ternan), Summit of Bennachie (Aberdeenshire Lieutenancy), Castle Fraser (NTS) and Summit of the Cairn o’ Mount (Fettercairn Estate).

Risk Manager Mike Cordiner said: “The beacons will be a great celebration of the Diamond Jubilee and organisers have put a lot of effort into their events. Many have contacted the Fire & Rescue service to seek safety advice but now’s a good time to remind everyone planning a beacon event that fire safety must be part of their preparations.

“We’re in a period of hot and dry weather and the conditions are right for grass and scrub fires. Organisers need to have measures in place to prevent the spread of fire and the means of extinguishing any outbreaks.

“Flying brands from a bonfire will travel a considerable distance in even light winds, so having people on fire watch would be a sensible precaution, particularly where beacons are on remote hilltops.

“Make sure that the beacon is completely extinguished at the end of the event and never left unattended.

“If fire does break out on a hilltop it’s essential that organisers have an evacuation plan. The beacons will be lit late in the evening so knowing how to make sure your group is all together, and having a safe route planned to get away from fire in thick smoke and darkness, are crucial parts of any safety plan.”

Grampian Fire and Rescue Service is aware of a number of Diamond Jubilee Beacons planned for Monday evening’s celebrations.

Some organisers have not registered with the national website at: or contacted the Fire & Rescue service for advice. Fire safety officers encourage every beacon event organiser to contact the fire service to pass on details about their event and to seek fire safety advice.