Make sure your Bonfire Night can safely go off with a bang!Posted on: Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Newark and Sherwood District Council is once again reminding residents how to make sure your Bonfire Night can safely go off with a BANG, and how you can be sustainable as you celebrate!
There is plenty of fun to be had as you celebrate the 5th November, whether you are heading out to a local event or staying home. However, it is important to remain safe, and, where possible, be kind to the environment by choosing sustainable alternatives and always cleaning up any waste once the fun is over.
Many Bonfire Night activities, such as bonfires, firework displays, or lighting sparklers, are great fun however they are also potential fire hazards that should only be done in a controlled environment. So, it is important to remember, remember these important safety reminders!
- We recommend that you visit an organised display to see a firework display. Fireworks can be extremely dangerous and organised events create magical displays with lots of fantastic fireworks, in a safe and monitored location.
- We also suggest visiting an organised event for the brilliant bonfire! Bonfires are many people’s favourite part of the evening, but they can quickly get out of control if not monitored closely.
- If you are lighting sparklers always make sure to have a bucket of water or sand prepared to place the used sparklers in or to extinguish the sparklers if needed. And always wear gloves to protect your hands.
- Please be mindful of your pets! Fireworks can be frightening for many animals so try to reduce their stress and exposure to them by taking dogs out for walks earlier in the day before fireworks start and closing windows and putting on background noise to reduce the sounds once the displays begin.
Councillor Paul Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Relations at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Bonfire Night is a fantastic evening of fun to spend with family and friends, and is important that everyone can do so feeling safe. We of course want everyone to have fun wherever they are celebrating, but it is important to remain vigilant as there are so many aspects to the celebrations that could cause serious harm and damage.
“I urge residents to think about the advice the District Council gives here, especially those who are considering creating their own bonfire or firework display. Organised events are a great opportunity to socialise with friends and neighbours in a safe and controlled environment, and for many local events you will more than likely be supporting a local community group or sports club that is hosting the event.”
Like many large events Bonfire Night celebrations can result in a huge amount of waste and can cause problems for wildlife. Here are some tips to make sure you are being kind to our local environment and wildlife as you celebrate:
- Do not burn your waste on the bonfire! Items like plastic, rubber, glass, oils, or metal can be a pollution risk if burnt.
- If you are having a party at home have a think about the food and drink you are providing, opt for reusable cutlery and plates, box up leftovers for people to take home to limit food waste, and make your own treats instead of buying pre-packaged ones! There are plenty of delicious treats to try making: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/bonfire-night-snacks-recipes
- Don’t use sky lanterns! They might look beautiful, but they can pose a danger to animals including birds being eaten by animals once they fall back down to earth. They are a fire risk, can destroy habitats and take decades to degrade. Please be aware that sky lanterns are banned in the District Council’s parks.
- Be mindful of wildlife! Hedgehogs can mistake the bonfires we build for a cosy new home, so please always check any bonfire thoroughly before lighting.
- Tidy up your litter before heading home.
Councillor Emma Oldham, Portfolio Holder for Biodiversity and Environmental Services at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Being mindful of safety over the weekend also includes our furry and feathered friends, whether they are pets in our homes or wildlife in our gardens! Please check through these tips before you begin building your bonfires or setting off your fireworks.
“As with many annual events, Bonfire night results in a huge amount of waste so try incorporating some of these tips where you can, and you could even join a community litter pick the next day and help collect the waste commonly found after Bonfire Night like fallen firework pieces, discarded sparklers and general litter.”
“There are lots of eco-friendly and pet-friendly firework alternatives out there so I encourage everyone if they can to have a look into what options are available to them.”
The District Council is encouraging residents to be rewarded for their sustainable behaviour by logging their activities with Green Rewards.
Residents can earn points for activities such as shopping locally for their bonfire night treats, supporting wildlife, and more! Each month two residents are selected to win a £20 voucher to spend locally.
To find out more visit: https://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/recycling/green-rewards-app/