Bonfire night safety

Remember, remember to celebrate safely!

Bonfire night can be great fun for all the family but it is important that you celebrate safely.

We are appealing to everyone to take great care on bonfire night.

We'd encourage you to attend an organised displayed instead of having fireworks at home. If you do choose to have a display at home please make sure you follow the firework code.

It’s a fact that many accidents are caused by improper use of fireworks and by carelessness. Figures show that more children than adults get hurt by fireworks.

The firework code

Watching fireworks is popular and fun. But fireworks are explosives and potentially dangerous, so they need careful handling and storage.

  • Only buy fireworks that are CE marked.
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box.
  • Follow the instructions on each firework.
  • Light them at arms 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 set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11pm.

Bonfire safety tips

We don’t recommend having a bonfire in your garden. They can easily get out of hand and spread quickly to hedges, overhanging trees and garages, even to the house.

If you do decide to have one please follow our advice here.

  • If you are having a bonfire discuss it with your neighbours beforehand.
  • Don’t build a bonfire too far in advance of the day as it can encourage anti-social behaviour.
  • Build the bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees.
  • Check there are no cables (for example telephone wires) above the bonfire.
  • Ensure there is a suitable barrier around the bonfire to keep spectators at least five metres away.
  • Always check that no children or animals are hiding in the bonfire before lighting.
  • Don’t burn aerosols, batteries, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint - many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury.
  • Don’t use petrol, paraffin, diesel, white spirit or methylated spirit to light the bonfire.
  • Keep some buckets of water nearby in case of an emergency and to damp down after the event.

Sparkler safety tips

  • These are often viewed as harmless but they do burn at fierce temperatures and can easily cause injuries.
  • Light sparklers one at a time.
  • Supervise children with sparklers and never give them to children under five.
  • Make sure everyone handling sparklers wears gloves.
  • Hold sparklers at arm’s length while being lit.
  • Don’t wave sparklers about close to other people.
  • Never hold a baby in your arms while you are holding a sparkler.
  • When you have finished with the sparkler put it in a bucket of cold water.

Operation Good Guy

We work closely with Staffordshire Trading Standards and local councils as part of Operation Good Guy – to make sure retailers and the general public across Staffordshire have all the information and support they need to make their bonfire night safe.