Bonfire Safety

To ensure you enjoy Bonfire Night safely, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and Nottinghamshire Police are urging people to heed the following advice.

Fireworks are fun but can be extremely dangerous. It is therefore vital to follow these rules:

  • Only fireworks marked with BS 7114 should be bought
  • Fireworks should be kept in a closed box
  • A responsible adult should light the firework at arm's length, using a taper
  • Keep to the 11pm rule - no fireworks should be set off after this time
  • Tell your neighbours that you are having a brilliant firework display in your garden so they can be aware of sudden noises etc
  • Read the firework instructions
  • Never, ever out fireworks in your pockets
  • it's best if only one adult takes responsibility for letting off the fireworks
  • Keep a bucket of water close by and always wear eye protection and gloves
  • Make sure children with sparklers are supervised and never give them to a child under five
  • Only light one sparkler at a time and when finished, put the hot end down into a bucket of sand or water


If you are having a bonfire it is crucial to consider where and how you build it. It should be kept to a reasonable size and not positioned underneath cables. Dry material only should be burnt as damp material will cause more smoke.

No aerosols, tyres or anything containing foam or paint should be burned as many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode.

Remember to check the bonfire for hibernating wildlife before lighting, and don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going as it may get out of control quickly.

Once the bonfire is lit, keep a bucket of water nearby and do not leave unattended. Make sure children and pets are kept well away and never throw fireworks or rubbish into the flames.

Here are a few tips to follow

  • Bonfires need a lot of organising and can be a hazard. Many displays are a great success without one. If, after careful consideration, you do decide to have a bonfire, make one person responsible for it, from early planning to final clearing up
  • Don’t site it too near your display or firework storage area
  • Never use flammable liquids like paraffin or petrol to get it going as this can result in uncontrolled spread of fire or explosion
  • Check immediately before lighting that there’s no animal or even a young child hidden inside
  • Never put fireworks on a bonfire, even if they’re dud
  • Don’t burn dangerous rubbish (e.g. aerosols, paint tins or foam-filled furniture)
  • Remove any rubbish from your bonfire area in advance so there’s nothing that can be thrown onto the fire on the night.

Once the bonfire has died down, spray the embers with water to stop it reigniting.

For further advice contact your local fire station or visit

If you witness dangerous use of fireworks e.g. in public spaces, let off in the street or being thrown; likely to cause damage or distress, or indeed children in possession of fireworks, please contact the Police on 101 or if there is significant risk or danger, please call 999.

Anyone with information regarding the illegal sale or use of fireworks is urged to contact the Police on 101 or use the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111 to pass on information anonymously.

Sky Lanterns

Sky lanterns have grown in popularity in recent years but they can be dangerous. They can be bad for the environment, cause problems for farmers and endanger cattle and animals that eat parts of them once they have landed and they can pose a fire risk.

If you do intend to use them please use them responsibly

  • Use a biodegradable lantern that contains no metal wire. Wire can pose a danger to animals
  • Only use lanterns in open space away from farm land, trees, buildings, coastal areas and airports
  • Never release a lantern in strong winds and check which way the wind is blowing
  • Contact your local council if you are planning to release a lot of lanterns at the same time
  • Sky lanterns are not toys and should never be used by children

Clearing up

Remember that you need to clear up after your bonfire

  • Spectators need to be cleared safely from the site
  • The bonfire needs to be put out completely
  • Spent firework cases must be gathered. Spot used fireworks with a torch and use tongs or some other suitable tool, and wear strong gloves
  • Don’t allow any children to collect firework cases
  • Burning the spent cases is potentially dangerous and should be done with great care only after all your spectators have gone
  • If any fireworks look as if they haven’t gone off after at least half an hour, douse them in a bucket of water and ask the Fire and Rescue Service for advice

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    NG24 1BY

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