Advice on how to have a bonfire safely. Learn what you shouldn't burn on a bonfire, when you can have a bonfire and find out what to do if a neighbour is having nuisance bonfires.
Six steps to having a safe bonfire
- If you must have a bonfire, use a metal incinerator to contain it, and locate it well away from anything flammable. This includes trees, long, dry grass, sheds, houses, garages and cars. Make sure it is not underneath any electricity cables.
- Follow our advice on what you shouldn’t burn – see ‘what not to burn’ on this webpage.
- Tell us when you’re having a bonfire by calling on 0333 399 0014. This is so we can check in with you if we receive any 999 calls reporting a fire in the same area, which stops us from sending firefighters out to bonfires when they’re not needed.
- Stay with your bonfire at all times. Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby, and have a way of calling for help in case of emergencies, such as your mobile phone.
- 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. When the bonfire is finishing, spray it with water to stop it from 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 (for example, petrol, diesel or paraffin)
- household rubbish (for example, plastics)
- aerosol cans
- lighter fluid
- gas canisters
- anything wet.
Do not call us to report someone having a bonfire unless it is an emergency.
If someone is burning bonfires regularly this may be considered a nuisance. Check your local council website for their information on how to report nuisance bonfires. There are also rules about garden bonfires on the government website.
These are photos from incidents we've attended where bonfires have spread out of control.
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