Tips for staying safe on Bonfire Night
Whilst firework displays can be great fun, fireworks can be dangerous if they are not used and handled properly.
If you’re planning to put on your own small display, stay safe by following these simple guidelines.
If you have any fire safety concerns with your home, read our fire safety advice.
It’s safer to attend an organised display than to host a bonfire at home. Explore what firework events are being held in your local community.
If you’re planning a small bonfire in your garden, make sure it’s away from sheds, fences, bushes, trees and your home. Bonfires are not to be lit in communal gardens.
Remember that fireworks are explosives and can be dangerous if not handled correctly. Fireworks shouldn’t be used on balconies or communal gardens.
Before your fireworks display
- Check the fireworks are ‘CE Marked’ before you buy – only ‘category two’ fireworks (containing less than 500g of gunpowder) are suitable for most private gardens
- Ensure your display area is free from hazards
- Don’t tamper with fireworks and read the instructions in daylight
- Warn neighbours, especially the elderly and those with animals
- A clearly identifiable person should be responsible for the fireworks.
Safety checklist during your fireworks display
- Metal box with lid to store fireworks (keep closed between uses)
- Bucket of water/garden hose for emergencies
- Protective hat, eye protection and gloves to avoid any small burns
- First aid kit
- Bucket (preferably metal) with soft earth to stick the fireworks in
- Board for flat-bottomed fireworks and 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
- Never put fireworks in your pocket
- Keep naked flames (including cigarettes) away from fireworks.
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 £5,000 fine.
Sparkler safety tips
- 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 burned out (sparklers can stay hot for a long time)
- Don't take sparklers to public displays where it’s too crowded to use them safely
- Always take care when holding a sparkler and never hold a child if you have one in your hand
- Don’t hand sparklers to children under five.
Visit the Safer Fireworks website for more information.