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Bonfire Night Safety Tips

publication date: Nov 3, 2022
author/source: Gardens Direct

Brits planning to celebrate Bonfire Night this November are being urged to follow eight simple do’s and don'ts to ensure a safe evening. It is important that everyone takes great care on Bonfire Night, which is why experts at are offering their advice for bonfire and firework safety.



1. Let your neighbours know about any personal bonfires or firework displays.

2. Conform to British safety standards – fireworks should be CE marked and have BS 7114 written on the box. All precautions and safety information can be found on the box alongside the manufacturer’s instructions. These should be read and followed to avoid dangerous displays.

3. Consider placement – bonfire builders should ensure the fire is positioned away from sheds, fences, trees, other outbuildings and anything else that could catch alight.  

4. Avoid wildlife – large mounds of leaves and dirt need to be avoided when picking a location for the fire, as these can often be hibernating homes for hedgehogs in the autumn months. 

5. Check for animals – anyone planning to build the bonfire must ensure that no animals have taken shelter under it before lighting.  

6. Pay attention to the wind direction – once lit, the smoke will drift in the direction of the wind. You may need to dampen the fire if smoke begins to blow towards you or a neighbour’s house.

7. Prepare a water supply or hose pipe close to the site of the bonfire to dampen it down or distinguish the flames if things become dangerous.

 8. Once the fire has died down, make sure to spray the embers with water to stop the fire from reigniting unexpectedly.



1. Never build your fire around dead grass, dry leaves, branches or any bark.

2. Don’t use treated or painted wood on the fire. Wood that is covered in paint may cause safety concerns when trying to extinguish the fire due to the paint being flammable. 

3. Do not leave a bonfire unattended. Always have someone keeping an eye on the fire.

4. Never use damp materials – these cause excess smoke and can lead to a large uncontrollable fire. One tip is to try and bend any wood before throwing it into the fire. Any wood that bends rather than breaking is too moist and should not be used.

5. Don’t use petrol, paraffin or accelerants to encourage the fire as these can easily lead to a loss of control of the fire. 

6. Never allow animals or children around the fire unattended. 

7. Don’t leave the site of the bonfire until you are sure that the flames have all gone out and there is no chance of reignition. 

8. Don't hesitate – if any bonfires appear to be getting out of control this Bonfire Night, back away from the fire and call 999 immediately. Request the Fire & Rescue Service.