Bonfire Safety

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Despite annual bonfire safety warnings, bonfire celebrations still end in painful injuries for too many people, including very young children, read below to see our tips on bonfire safety.


Bonfire Safety Tips


If you have a bonfire, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Warn your neighbours beforehand – so they are aware and can make necessary preparations
  • Only burn dry material, do not burn anything which is wet or damp, this causes more smoke
  • Check there are no cables (telephone wires etc) above the bonfire
  • Build the bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees
  • Don’t use petrol or paraffin to start the fire it can get out of control quickly

Once the bonfire is lit, make sure you:

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby – in case of emergencies
  • Don’t leave the bonfire unattended
  • Keep children and pets away from the bonfire
  • Don’t throw any fireworks into the fire
  • Don’t burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint – this could produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury
  • Once the bonfire has died down, spray the embers with water to stop it reigniting

Firework Safety Tips

Having fireworks at home can be great fun, if they are used safely. Figures show more children rather than adults get hurt by fireworks. Over the past five years over 350 pre-school children, some only a year old, were treated in hospital for fireworks injuries.

  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light them at arm’s length, using a taper
  • Stand well back
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit
  • Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
  • Always supervise children around fireworks
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Don’t let off fireworks after 11pm


A sparkler can reach a temperature of up to 2,000°C – 20 times the boiling point of water, according to the Child Accident Prevention Trust – so the safety advice is:

  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
  • Don’t give sparklers to children under the age of five – they don’t properly understand why they can be dangerous
  • Don’t hold babies and young children while you’re holding a sparkler in case they reach out unexpectedly
  • Supervise children aged five and over when they’re holding sparklers
  • Make sure children are wearing gloves (but be aware that they won’t fully protect their hands from burns)
  • Don’t let children run around with sparklers or pick spent sparklers up once they’ve finished
  • Have buckets of water to put spent sparklers in


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