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Bonfire and firework safety

Remember, remember, professionally run displays are safer to attend than home displays.

If you decide to have a display at home, please read the advice below.

The fireworks code

  • Only buy fireworks with a CE mark
  • Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light them at arm's length, using a taper
  • Stand well back
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn't gone off, it could still explode
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
  • Always supervise children around fireworks
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Don't let off fireworks after 11pm

Disposal of fireworks

Put fully spent fireworks (not misfired or partly spent) in a refuse bin. Soak misfired, unused or partly spent fireworks in a container of water in a safe place. Contact the manufacturer or supplier for advice on disposal.

Bonfire safety

If you are having a bonfire, to get rid of garden waste or as part of a celebration, follow our simple tips to make sure you, your property and others are safe.

Having a safe bonfire


  • Locate it well away from anything flammable – including trees, long, dry grass, sheds, houses, garages and cars.
  • Make sure it is not underneath any electricity cables.
  • Follow our advice below on what you shouldn’t burn.
  • Stay with your bonfire at all times. Keep a bucket of water or hose nearby.
  • You should also have a way of calling for help nearby in case of emergencies e.g. mobile phone.
  • Bonfires can easily spread and get out of control quicker than you may think.
  • Keep pets and children at a safe distance away from the bonfire and never leave them alone with a burning fire.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before you leave it. Once the bonfire is finishing, spray it with water to stop it restarting. The embers can stay hot for a long time so make sure it’s cool before you leave it unattended.

What not to burn

 Fuel (e.g. Petrol, Diesel)
 Household rubbish (e.g. plastics)
 Aerosol cans
 Lighter fluid
 Gas canisters

Anything wet

Did you know?

  • On average, 127 fires in homes and buildings in the UK are started by fireworks every year.
  • The majority of firework-related injuries happen at family or private parties.
  • It is an offence to throw or discharge a firework in a street or public place and can result in prosecution and a fine of up to £5000.
  • It is against the law to carry fireworks in public if you're under 18.
  • Fireworks must not be sold to anyone who is under 18.
  • It is an offence to let fireworks off during night hours (11pm to 7am), except on Bonfire Night (midnight), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year (1am).
  • It is an offence under the Explosives Act 1875 to tamper with or modify fireworks.
  • Sparklers can reach temperatures more than 15 times hotter than boiling water.
  • If you have concerns regarding a neighbour's nuisance bonfire, please see your local council's website for advice.

Sky or Chinese lanterns

We do not recommend their use due to the fire hazards and risks they pose to property, crops, livestock and the environment.

You can download our bonfire and firework safety leaflet (PDF) for more information.

All our safety information can be made available in other languages.  Please contact 0800 050 2999 to request a copy.

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