FIREWORKS fans in Radcliffe are being warned to "get wise" or "get hurt" as bonfire night approaches.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has issued advice on how to avoid injury from fireworks and bonfires as new laws come in cracking down on firework yobs.

It is now illegal to let off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except for special occasions such as November 5 when the ban will begin at midnight.

Diwali - the Chinese New Year - and New Year's Eve will also see the curfew extended, from 11pm to 1am.

County Fire Officer Barry Dixon said: "All fireworks must be handled with care and their use should be confined to supervised displays. People must realise that fireworks are explosive and must get wise or get hurt."

He added: "Unfortunately, last year produced a blip in what has generally seen a steady decrease in the number of firework-related incidents. The introduction of the new laws will hopefully see a return to that downward trend."

The fire service's advice for fireworks includes: ; buy only fireworks marked BS7114 and keep them in a closed metal box; follow the instructions on each firework;and light them at arm's length using a taper and stand well back.

Never go back to a lit firework, never put fireworks in pockets; keep a bucket of water nearby if you are setting off fireworks in your garden.; never throw fireworks; keep pets indoors. The service also warns that alcohol and fireworks do not mix.

Firework nationally accidents are on the increase as are bonfire-related incidents. Last year, between September 1 and November 9, the county fire service attended 628 bonfire-related incidents, an increase of 247 on the previous year.

Fire crews across Bury dealt with 26 bonfire incidents, compared to 18 in 2002. The rise in incidents was attributed to the unusually dry weather in late October. Even though there was an increase on 2002 figures, they were still far less than the 1,177 incidents attended in 2001.

Mr Dixon said: "The period leading up to and including bonfire night is a very exciting time, especially for children.

Unfortunately, this is also a time when many children get hurt playing with fireworks and bonfires."

Advice on bonfires includes building therm on an open space at least 18 metres from buildings and away from anything that can burn.