Bonfire Night: Keeping Everyone Safe at Your Display

Bonfire Night should be a fun event for kids and adults alike. But it’s also important that you keep yourself safe, especially if you’re setting off your own fireworks at home.

It might sound obvious, but when fire and fireworks are present, the risk of injuries goes up significantly. We’ve set out what you can do to reduce the chance of accidents happening, so you can fully enjoy your night.

Bonfire safety

One of the easiest things you can do to keep yourself and others safe is to have a bucket of water or garden hose nearby, so you can react quickly in case of an accident.

Build your bonfire away from anything that could catch fire or be damaged by it – this could include fences, sheds or trees.

Once the fire is lit, never pour any flammable liquid onto it to keep it burning. You risk an uncontrollable flare up or the liquid catching fire all the way to the container, which could cause you serious harm.

Make sure you’re keeping any children and pets at a suitable distance from the bonfire. Supervise them at all times to ensure they’re not getting too close and putting themselves in danger.

When you’ve finished your bonfire, put it out. Pour water on it to extinguish the flames, rather than letting it burn itself out. You never know if it might have a last bit of life in it and flare up while you’re not there.

Firework safety

Fireworks are a traditional part of Bonfire Night – but they can also be extremely dangerous.

Over 550 children are injured by fireworks in the four weeks surrounding Bonfire Night every year, according to the Children’s Burns Trust. But there are ways to reduce the risk involved.

If you’re buying your own fireworks, make sure to get them from a reputable retailer. Check that they have the CE mark – meaning the product is recognised as safe – and keep them in a sealed box away from children.

When you’re lighting them, direct all fireworks away from people and light them at a distance. Make sure children and pets are kept well back from fireworks. We would suggest keeping pets indoors, as they could be startled by the noise and put themselves in harm’s way.

If you’ve lit a firework and it hasn’t gone off, don’t go near it – and definitely don’t pick it up. Although it may look like a dud, it could still explode. You should also leave any fireworks that have gone off for at least 15 minutes before retrieving them, even if it looks like the fuse has gone out.

Never throw a firework onto a bonfire – and direct all fireworks away from any open flames. Pay attention to which way the wind is blowing and take this into account when you’re setting up.

General safety

On Bonfire Night, the air can be hazy and you could easily be distracted by the fireworks and flames from bonfires. With the clocks having changed, darkness sets in earlier too.

All this can make driving riskier than usual, so it’s important to take extra care on the roads. And remember, Bonfire Night isn’t just one night anymore! Events will be held over a number of nights, so make sure to bear this in mind.

If you’re not driving, you might be tempted to indulge in a few drinks. But we’d suggest waiting until after the fireworks are finished and the bonfire has been put out to bring out the alcohol. This will help to keep everyone safe.

Finally, don’t forget to follow the rules. In most areas, you can set off fireworks up until midnight on Bonfire Night. But make sure to be courteous to your neighbours, too.


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