Many fireworks displays on Bonfire Night will be accompanied by a bonfire. This is a tradition which has been practised for centuries and it can be quite safe as long as routine safety practice is observed.
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.
Further advice, publications etc
- 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 Organizers
- Various fire brigades have advice on fireworks, bonfires and barbecues on the web:
- London Fire Brigade. More information on barbecues
- Fire Service site – fireworks, follow links to bonfires and barbecues.
Hedgehogs often hibernate in bonfires. Read the advice below to keep wildlife safe.
Wildlifenfires and barbecues.
- 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