< back

email us   Click [ here ]


Be Safe not Sorry . . .       


Hedgehogs often hibernate in bonfires. Read the advice below to keep wildlife safe.

Many fireworks displays on Bonfire Night will be accompanied by a bonfire. This is a tradition which has been practiced for centuries and it can be quite safe as long as routine safety practice is observed.

1. Fire Service Advice.
  • Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges.
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire and never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries.
  • Don't leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with plenty of water.
  • Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of fire.
2. Further advice, publications etc:
  •  BERR Government information on fireworks safety.
  •  FireworkSafety website, for valuable advice.
  •  Safer Fireworks RoSPA's site 'to make sure your firework parties are fun'
  •  H&SE Guide to Safety for Firework Display Organisers
  •  Various fire brigades have advice on fireworks, bonfires and barbecues on the web:
3. Wildlife
  • Hibernating animals - wild creatures such as hedgehogs, and pets such as tortoises - often find bonfires attractive. Piles of warm dry material appear to be a good prospect for a long winter's sleep.
  • If your bonfire is a small one, check it thoroughly, in daylight but as late as you can before lighting it.
  • Bigger bonfires are often built weeks ahead. Try to keep it in sections and only assemble it for building as late as possible.
  • Read more about hedgehogs: British Hedgehog Preservation Society

© PT 1996 -  All text, graphics and photographs on this website are copyright, and are the property of the editor or used with permission. Reproduction terms are available on request. Unauthorised copying is theft.