How to have a sparkling and safe bonfire night!

How to have a sparkling and safe bonfire night!

Remember, remember the 5th of November.   It’s a night for gunpowder treason and plot, according to the old nursery rhyme. At least it was back in 1605 and the days of Guy Fawkes, these days it’s a good excuse for getting together with family and friends around the bonfire to light some fireworks and have some fun!

And while you always want the night to go with a bang, there are a number of fire safety tips you should bear in mind to make sure everyone is safe and sound.

  • Make sure the bonfire is built well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences trees and shrubs. And if appropriate any overhead cables.
  • When you build your bonfire, make sure it is stable and not leaning so that it will not collapse suddenly to one side, or even forwards towards the audience.
  • Be careful what you use to build the bonfire – don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols, tins of paint or bottles, they are all highly dangerous.
  • Check for animals before lighting - cats, hedgehogs etc
  • Do not use paraffin, petrol or any other flammable liquids to light the fire.
  • Keep everyone away from the fire – the recommended distance is at least six metres.
  • Make sure children are supervised at all times.
  • Always keep buckets of water, a garden hose or fire extinguishers to hand in case of emergency.
  • Once the bonfire is finished, poor water on the embers to ensure the fire is no longer a danger.

It is also, of course, also wise to follow the firework code if you are setting off your own display.

  • Use only British Standard 7114 fireworks bought from a reputable dealer.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box.
  • Follow the instructions on each firework.
  • Light all fireworks using a taper at arm’s length.
  • Stand well back.
  • Never go back to a lit firework, even if it doesn’t go off!
  • Never throw fireworks.
  • Keep pets indoors.

If you have sparklers, never give them to children under five, always light them one at a time, and ensure everyone who has them is wearing gloves.

Show children how to hold them – away from their body at arm’s length – always supervise them and tell them not to run with the sparklers or wave them near anyone else.

Once the sparklers have burnt out, they should be plunged, hot end down, into a bucket of water. Remember, they can stay hot for a long time!

Better still, why not go to an organised bonfire or fireworks display where you can enjoy the fun in a safe environment!