Do you really need a bonfire? It is much better to manage without one. If you must have a bonfire, ensure you follow these points:
Organise it properly
Should be at least 18 metres (60 feet) away from houses, trees, hedges, fences or sheds
Before lighting, check for animals and children
Use domestic firelighters
Never use petrol, paraffin or other flammable liquids
Never put used fireworks, aerosols, foam-filled furniture, batteries, tins of paint or tyres on a bonfire.
Pets on bonfire night
Pets hate bangs and flashes and get very frightened on fireworks night. So keep all your pets indoors and close all the curtains to make things calmer. Remember it’s not just your own fireworks that cause distress, so you may need to have your pets indoors on several nights when other displays are taking place.
Alcohol and fireworks safety
People drink alcohol at 90% of fireworks parties in back gardens. In a survey, 84% of respondents said that people setting off fireworks had drunk at least 2-3 units of alcohol. This increases the risk of injury and makes adults less able to supervise children properly during the display.
Never drink alcohol if you are setting off fireworks or attending a bonfire.
Nominate people who are not drinking alcohol to take charge of late-night fireworks displays.
Keep guests who are drinking alcohol well away from fireworks and the bonfire.
Consider limiting the availability of alcohol until after the fireworks display.
Do not carry fireworks in your pocket to street parties or celebrations.
The clear message is that alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. Fireworks Safety
Before your firework display
Check the fireworks you buy are suitable for the size of the garden and conform to British Standards (BS 7114; 1988)
Ensure your display area is free from hazards
Do not tamper with fireworks
Read the instructions in daylight
Warn neighbours, especially the elderly and those with animals, about your display
One person – clearly identified – should be responsible for fireworks
Firework safety: ensure you have the following
Metal box, with a lid for storage of fireworks
Torch for checking instructions
Bucket of water
Protective hat, eye protection and gloves
First aid kit
Bucket of soft earth to stick fireworks in
A board for flat-bottomed fireworks
Suitable supports for catherine wheels
Proper launchers for rockets
Safety during the firework display
Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper
Stand well back
Never go back to a lit firework
Keep storage box closed between uses
Keep children under control
Never put a firework in your pocket – it is stupid and dangerous
Throwing a firework is stupid and dangerous and illegal: it’s a criminal offence to do so in a street or other public place, with a maximum penalty of a £5000 fine
Safety after the firework display
Use tongs or gloves to collect spent fireworks
Next morning, check again and remove firework debris
The Fireworks Code
Young people should watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance and follow the safety rules for using sparklers. Only adults should deal with firework displays and the lighting of fireworks. They should also take care of the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used.