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30 October 2018

Staying safe during Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night is great entertainment for all the family and with a few safety precautions, you can ensure that it is an event everyone can enjoy safely.

Fireworks are great fun, but can be dangerous if they are not used or handled properly. If you are planning to put on your own small display please take care to make sure you, your family and your friends stay safe by following these simple guidelines.


It is far safer to attend an organised display in your local community than to have a bonfire at home. However, if you‘re planning to have a small bonfire in your garden, make sure it is away from sheds, fences, bushes, trees and the property. Bonfires are not permitted in communal gardens.


Fireworks are explosives and can present a danger if not handled correctly. Only category 2 fireworks are suitable for most private gardens (fireworks are not to be used on balconies or in communal gardens).

Before your firework display:

  • Check the fireworks you buy are CE marked
  • Ensure your display area is free from hazards
  • Do not tamper with fireworks
  • Read the instructions in daylight
  • Warn neighbours, especially the elderly and those with animals about your display
  • A clearly identifiable person should be responsible for the fireworks

During your firework display:

  • Ensure you have a metal box, with a lid, for the storage of the fireworks
  • You should have a torch to double check the instructions
  • Keep a bucket of water and/or a garden hose close by in case of emergencies
  • You should wear a protective hat, eye protection and gloves to avoid any small burns
  • Keep a first aid kit close by
  • Use a bucket (preferably metal) of soft earth to stick the fireworks in
  • Keep your firework storage box closed between uses
  • Use a board for flat-bottomed fireworks
  • Use proper launchers for rockets
  • Light fireworks at arm's length with a taper
  • Stand well back and never go back to a lit firework
  • Keep children under control
  • Do not put fireworks in your pocket
  • Throwing a firework is dangerous and illegal, it's a criminal offence to do so in a street or other public place, with a maximum penalty of £5000
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks


A simple sparkler reaches a temperature of up to 2,000°C. That's over 15 times the boiling point of water.

Handle them with care:

  • Store sparklers and fireworks in a closed box in a cool, dry place
  • Always light them one at a time and wear gloves
  • Plunge finished sparklers, hot end down, into a bucket of water as soon as they have burnt out
  • Remember sparklers can stay hot for a long time
  • Don't take sparklers to public displays, as it will be too crowded to use them safely
  • Remember, always take care when holding a sparkler and never hold a baby or child if you have one in your hand
  • Don’t hand sparklers to children under five

Further safety advice relating specifically to fireworks can be found on the Trading Standards website and for more advice, take a look at our fire safety booklet

Additionally, if you need any further advice, contact us via email on