Advice and guidance for enjoying and staying safe throughout Bonfire night and Halloween.
A bonfire is a large, but controlled, outdoor fire, used either for informal disposal of burnable waste material, or as part of a celebration.
The name "bonfire" is derived from the fact that bonfires were originally fires in which bones were burned.
The advice on this page will help your bonfire event or firework display go safely. Please read it carefully.
However, the council would like to encourage residents to attend an organised bonfire if possible.
For information on the correct use of a bonfire for recreational use, to burn waste, visit the Burning waste (bonfires) page.
You can also read about the effects of burning on air quality, and how to report air pollution.
If you are thinking of using fireworks as part of your celebrations, please follow the safety advice below.
Having fireworks at home can be great fun as long as they are used safely. Figures have shown that more children than adults get hurt by fireworks.
Fireworks are safe if you use them properly. If you are putting on a home display you should follow some simple steps to make sure that everyone has a good time without getting hurt.
We want children to enjoy fireworks but they need to know that they can be dangerous if they are not used properly. Each year over half of all firework injuries are suffered by children. The following website and PDF has more guidance on keeping children safe:
Firework Safety Advice - Child Accident Prevention Trust (external website)
Firework safety for children - Follow Ben for a safe fireworks night (pdf 944kb opens in a new window)
Did you know that sparklers get five times hotter than boiling cooking oil?
Read our safety advice below:
Don't cut corners just to save a few pounds. Always buy fireworks from a reputable shop to make sure that they conform to British Standards. This means that they should have BS 7114 written on the box.
Sometimes shops open up for a short time before Bonfire Night but these may not be the best places to buy fireworks from. Staff in these shops might not be very knowledgeable about using fireworks safely and their fireworks might not meet British Standards.
Don't buy fireworks from anywhere you're not sure about, such as the back of a van or from a temporary, unlicensed market stall.
Only one person should be in charge of fireworks. If that's you, then make sure you take all the necessary precautions. Read the instructions in daylight and don't drink any alcohol until they've all been discharged. Make your preparations in advance and in daylight or with a torch (never a naked flame).
On the night you will need:
You should take precautions to protect your pets during the times of the year when fireworks are likely to be set off. Keep them indoors if possible.
There are ways that you can protect wildlife in your garden or local area on Bonfire Night, or evenings around 5 November.
There are laws about when fireworks can be sold, and to who - as well as the times fireworks can be set off.
Gov UK - Fireworks - the law (external website)
It is against the law to:
If found guilty by the courts, you could be fined up to £5,000 and can be imprisoned for up to three months. You may be liable for an on-the-spot fine of £80.
You can let off fireworks:
If you would like information, advice and guidance about air pollution connected with the burning of large fires please contact the council's Air pollution page.
We have produced the following useful guidance document as a PDF, giving advice on how to minimise noise disturbance to your neighbours. This might be useful for event organisers, as well as the general public:
Environmental Protection UK (EPUK) fireworks leaflet (pdf 201kb opens in new window)