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Tips for safety on Bonfire Night

safety on bonfire night

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By Jim

Jim Coulson is a Yorkshire content writer, video maker and radio presenter who blogs under the guise of Bewildered Dad.

Published on 01/11/2022

Bonfire Night is on the way and, although it should be a night for fun with the family, there are obviously some dangers that come with it. You know, with all the explosives and fire involved. This is why we’ve come up with some tips for safety on Bonfire Night.

If you’re planning your own display, take a look at this advice and have a safe, enjoyable night gazing up at the skies and shouting ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ a lot. Yes, we’re still talking about Bonfire Night…

Safety on Bonfire Night

Know the law

There are different rules across the UK about fireworks and the like, so make sure you understand what the deal is where you are.

  • In Scotland, you can only set them off between 6pm and midnight on Bonfire Night. It’s usually up till 11pm, except on Hogmanay, Chinese New Year and Diwali, when you can set them off till 1am.
  • In Northern Ireland, you have to have a special fireworks licence to even have them in your possession, let alone use them. However, you don’t need the licence for indoor fireworks or sparklers.
  • In Wales or England, you can set fireworks off until midnight on Bonfire Night.
  • In the whole of the UK, it is illegal to sell fireworks to under-18s and for them to possess them at all in public.

Hosting your own Bonfire Night event

It’s usually safest to enjoy the fireworks, bonfire, hotdogs, toffee apples and the like at an organised event. However, if you want to host your own party, here’s what you need to know about safety on Bonfire Night.

safety on bonfire night

The bonfire

You need one person in charge of the bonfire and another one or more to supervise children so that they stay away, essentially. Get a bucket of water and keep it handy and make sure you locate the fire away from wooden fences and other materials that could catch fire. Check underneath for hedgehogs before you light it. Use fire lighters for a safer burn and never pour petrol, paraffin or similar chemicals on the bonfire.

Use water to damp down the fire at the end of the party.

The fireworks

Here are your Bonfire Night safety tips for fireworks:

  • Only buy fireworks from a reputable retailer and purchase only products with the relevant UKCA safety mark on them. It’s UKNI in Northern Ireland.
  • Store them in a closed box, such as a biscuit tin so they don’t catch light from a spark.
  • Take just one firework out at a time and replace the lid whilst lighting it.
  • Use a taper to light fireworks and do so at arm’s length.
  • Once lit, stand well back from the firework.
  • Do not use naked flames anywhere near your fireworks. This includes cigarettes and matches that you might use to see what you are doing. Use a torch instead.
  • Do not return to a firework after you have lit it. Even if it isn’t firing.
  • Direct fireworks away from people and buildings.

Sparkler safety on Bonfire Night

Sparklers can be a lot of fun, but there are not recommended for under 5s. You should always supervise children using sparklers and make sure that they wear gloves and hold them at arm’s length. Don’t point sparklers at other people and make sure you sick them in a bucket of water when you are finished.

safety on bonfire night

Also, never pick them up off the ground. Although, anyone who has ever seen this public information film doesn’t need anyone to tell them that again. This Bonfire Night safety film sticks with you:


Are you planning a Bonfire Night party? Tell us what you have in store in the Comments


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