Staying Safe Around Bonfires

We would always recommend that you attend organised Bonfire Night events rather than having your own fire.

When they go wrong, bonfires represent a big risk to people and property. They can get out of control very quickly and be challenging to put out.

If you must have your own bonfire, please follow our safety advice so this doesn’t happen to you.

Bonfire Safety

Bonfires and nuisance fires predominately occur around Bonfire Night. However, we do attend incidents throughout the year where people have been burning rubbish or garden waste.

Plan ahead

Making a plan for your bonfire can help you avoid danger and inconveniencing your neighbours.

  • Tell your neighbours you plan to have a bonfire and its intended location.

  • Be mindful of smoke – don’t build the fire near a roadway.

  • Check the weather forecast – avoid having a fire in high winds.

  • Don’t build it too far in advance. This can encourage anti-social behaviour.

  • Build the fire well away from any trees, fencing, or structures like sheds.

  • Use only untreated wood to build the fire. No waste materials or pallets.

  • Before you light it, check no children or animals are hiding inside.

  • Light the fire using only firelighters, kindling and/or tapers.

  • Do not use accelerants like petrol to start the fire.

Enjoying bonfires safely

Follow our safety advice so you can enjoy your bonfire without worrying about the dangers.

  • Consider attending a public event instead.

  • Keep a safe area around it that nobody is allowed to enter.

  • Keep a water source like a hosepipe nearby to help you extinguish the fire.

  • Do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol while tending the bonfire.

  • Place any additional fuel onto the fire gently; do not throw it.

  • Never leave it unattended, especially if children or animals are present.

  • Douse the ashes with water before leaving or going to bed. Don’t leave it burning.

  • Remember: if your fire gets out of control, don’t try to tackle it yourself. Stay well away and call us out on 999.

Bonfire Night And Fireworks

If you are considering setting off fireworks, please visit:

  1. Our firework safety page.

  2. Our Bonfire Night advice page.