With Bonfire Night fast approaching now is a good time to consider the possible pitfalls and consequences associated with coordinating a private bonfire or fireworks display.

“There are on average around 1,000 firework-related injuries a year. About half of these injuries occur at family or private parties.”

Families who put on private fireworks displays in their own gardens are sometimes prone to neglecting elements of the rules and regulations, not to mention health and safety considerations associated with fireworks and home bonfires.

Our checklist below will provide you with helpful advice to keep you safe before, during and after Bonfire Night.

Private Displays

Before the display

• Only buy fireworks from a legitimate retailer
• Inform neighbours including owners of livestock, horses and other animals/pets, and be aware of their concerns
• Check the fireworks you buy are suitable for the size of the garden and that they comply with British Standard 7114 or its European equivalent. Instructions should be in English
• Read the instructions in daylight or with a torch. Never use a match, lighter or candle flame
• Only one person should be responsible for igniting fireworks

During the display

• Don’t drink alcohol if you’re setting off fireworks
• Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper
• Stand well back and keep others away from fireworks
• Never go back to a firework after it has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode
• Never throw fireworks or put them in your pocket
• Always supervise children around fireworks
• Store fireworks in a metal box and keep it closed between uses
• Keep pets indoors



• Don’t give sparklers to children under five years old
• Light sparklers one at a time
• Hold sparklers at arm’s length and wear gloves
• Put used sparklers hot end first into a bucket of sand or water



• Bonfires should be at least 18m (60 feet) away from houses, trees, hedges, fences or sheds
• Use domestic firelighters when lighting a bonfire
• Never use petrol, paraffin or other flammable liquids


Public Displays

If you are organising a large public display, click here and read our top 12 questions that you should ask yourself to ensure that you are appropriately protected.

For further useful information on how to stay safe during bonfire season visit the websites below.



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