If you’re planning to have a bonfire at any time, but particularly during this firework period, please follow some simple safety guides to help you, your family, pets and wildlife stay safe.
Building your bonfire
- Build your bonfire well away from, and clear of, buildings, garden sheds, fences, hedges and overhanging branches
- Keep it to a manageable size and evenly built, so that it collapses inwards as it burns
- Do not include plastics, household items or rubber in your fire
Lighting your bonfire
- It is dangerous to use flammable liquids to help start a bonfire such as petrol or kerosene, use firelighters.
- Do not burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries
- Do not throw anything in the fire
- Tell neighbours you are going to have a bonfire to avoid non-essential 999 calls
- The bonfire’s construction is still sound before lighting it
- There are no children or wildlife hiding in the fire
- No hazardous items such as aerosols, sealed cans or fireworks have been thrown onto it
- Never leave bonfires unattended – we recommend a bonfire should be supervised by an adult until it has burnt out
- Once you are finished with the bonfire, dampen it down fully with water making sure that the embers are extinguished and surroundings are made safe before leaving
- Keep a bucket of water or hosepipe nearby in case of an emergency
- If the bonfire becomes out of control and catches foliage or property alight – call 999 immediately
- If your clothes catch fire remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL and cool burns under running water for at least 20 minutes
Fireworks are something that can be enjoyed by all the family, but should be used safely, carefully and lawfully. Have a person dedicated to lighting your fireworks who is over 18 and remember that alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
If you are planning on having a firework display, you can help to avoid an emergency and/or upset by following our top tips:
- Ensure the firework is the correct way up and secure – light at arms length using a taper and stand well back
- Keep fireworks in a closed box away from the lighting location
- Only buy fireworks that are CE marked and follow the instructions
- Never go back to a firework that has been lit and don’t throw them or put them in your pocket
- Keep pets indoors and let your neighbours know you’re having a display
- Stick to the law – you can’t set off fireworks in public places and can’t set them off between 11pm and 7am – except for Bonfire Night when the cut off is midnight
- Supervise children with sparklers at all times
- Stick the end in a halved carrot to make it easier for little hands to hold
- Light one sparkler at a time and wear gloves
- Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for used sparklers
- Let them fully cool before throwing them away
Working Together on Firework Displays – The Blue Firework Guide – This guide is specifically intended for organisers of firework displays, or events where fireworks are to be used, where the display is setup, fired and derigged by a professional display company and professional display companies as the basic information to enable them to communicate effectively with an event organiser to achieve a safe and effective display.
Giving Your Own Firework Display – The Red Firework Guide – The advice in this publication covers only those firework displays, normally at pubs, clubs or charity gatherings, where the organisers set off the fireworks themselves and have no specialist knowledge.