Fire Safety

Bonfire Night: How to stay safe and enjoy responsibly

With Bonfire Night around the corner, it is important to be aware of the dangers of fireworks if they are not handled responsibly.

Fireworks can be great fun for families, not just around November 5 (Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night), but also Diwali, New Year’s Eve, and Chinese New Year. 

Statistics from the British Pyrotechnics Association show that 10 million people buy and use fireworks in the UK annually with the annual turnover coming to approximately £13.4 million. There are 850 accidental fires in the home that are started every year in England from candles with 150 fires in England started by fireworks every year. 

Top ten tips for using fireworks safely:

Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks, and the safe disposal of fireworks, once they have been used (and remember, alcohol and fireworks don’t mix!). Children and young people should be supervised, and watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance. These tips from the FIA will make sure the whole family can have fun in a safe responsible manner. 

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and check the time you can legally set off fireworks
  2. In England, Scotland, and Wales only buy fireworks that carry the UKCA marks. In the case of Northern Ireland look for the UKNI symbol. You may also see the UKNI mark along with the UKCA symbol. Keep your fireworks in a closed box, and use them one at a time
  3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  4. Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back 
  5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit 
  7. Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire 
  10. Make sure that the fire is out and the surroundings are safe before leaving 

Before you set your firework display up, it is important to make sure you have tested your smoke alarm  in case of a firework-related emergency. To find out more on how you can test your smoke alarm read our testing advice