Bonfire Night is always a fun and entertaining time of year – Halloween is over and you're ready for fireworks, and in some instances, burning effigies.
Whether you are heading to a public fireworks display or hosting one in your back garden, it's important to stay safe. More than 990 accidents have occurred on Bonfire Night over the last few years, so it's vital you take the necessary precautions.
Hosting a Bonfire Night garden party at home? Follow these top tips on how to stay safe.
1. Choose the correct fireworks
When selecting pyrotechnics, be sure to look for fireworks marked BS 7114 as these comply with British safety standards. – (Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association)
2. Safety, safety, safety
Make sure you also have a bucket of water or sand nearby in case anything goes wrong, so you can easily extinguish fireworks and sparklers. – Anne Kirk, marketing director at
3. The foundations are crucial
A stable ‘teepee’ of light wood, on a bed of tinder (twigs and grass), in a shallow pit is the ideal construction for a family bonfire, with gaps left for oxygen to ventilate the flames. –
4. It must be sheltered from anything that could accidentally catch fire
Remember bonfires should be lit at a reasonable distance away from surrounding trees and timber to prevent any sparks taking hold elsewhere. Fireworks must also be lit at a safe distance away from your family and friends, in an area clear of any debris. – LOFA
5. Check for animals
Please remember to check for hedgehogs or other small animals that may be hiding inside before lighting a match. – Garden Buildings Direct
6. Bring garden furniture indoors
Make sure to bring all unused garden furniture inside and away from the display. This will help protect your belongings so nothing gets damaged from any drifting embers or sparks. – Anne Kirk, marketing director at Swinton Group
7. Shrubbery will help get the larger logs burning BUT...
Never use flammable liquids or throw any items in with the organic materials. In particular, avoid paraffin or petrol, aerosols, bottles, tins or furniture. – Garden Buildings Direct
8. Protect your pets
The 5th of November might just be the worst night of the year for animals. Make sure to keep your pets indoors, shut all windows and doors, and close the curtains. Keep them calm and give them somewhere safe and secure to hide. Turn the TV volume up so your pets will be distracted from the loud noises of the fireworks outside. – Anne Kirk, marketing director at Swinton Group
Creaking a make-shift den or hiding place can be the perfect solution for helping your pet feel safe if they become anxious. Crates or tables with blankets draped over them to muffle noise and light can be very useful. Ideally set up your den a week or two in advance and encourage your dog to go there by putting treats and their favourite toys inside. – Jenny Philp, managing director and senior practicing vet at
9. When the firework displays are over...
It is also important, once the fire has died and the party is finished, to douse and bury the embers. – Garden Buildings Direct
10. Secure your home
The days between Halloween and Bonfire Night are prime time for burglaries. So even if you're only going into your garden for a few minutes, it's vital that you lock all windows and doors. If you are heading out for the evening, then double check your home is secure before leaving. – Anne Kirk, marketing director at Swinton Group