Seasonal safety

Stay Safe this Bonfire Night

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) are urging people to think twice about having firework celebrations this year on their website

This year, as a result of the pandemic, organised firework shows have been cancelled, so more people may be celebrating with fireworks at home instead.

If so, it is vital that you bear in mind firework safety if letting off fireworks in your gardens.

Don’t forget that fireworks can be dangerous if misused but by following simple safety steps, you will ensure that celebrations are fun and only go with the right kind of ‘bang’.

Here are some tips if you're having celebrations at home:

Firework safety tips

  • plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable
  • only buy fireworks marked with British Standard Kitemark BS 7114, and from a reputable supplier
  • don’t drink alcohol if you’re setting off fireworks – they don’t mix
  • keep fireworks in a closed metal box and take them out one at a time
  • always follow the instructions on the box carefully - read them in daylight or by torchlight, never by a naked flame
  • light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back
  • keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  • never go back to fireworks once they are lit – they might still go off or even explode
  • never throw fireworks and don’t put them in your pocket
  • always supervise children around fireworks and never give sparklers to children under 5
  • put fireworks in a bucket of water after use – they’ll still be hot
  • respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night
  • keep your pets indoors all evening with the curtains closed

Bonfire safety tips

  • consider whether your garden is actually big enough for a safe bonfire – if in doubt, don’t!
  • never use flammable liquids to help start a bonfire
  • build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences, hedges and overhanging branches
  • keep it to a manageable size and evenly built so it collapses inwards as it burns
  • always check the bonfire’s construction is still sound before lighting it, that there are no children or animals inside, and that hazardous items such as aerosols and fireworks have not been thrown on to it
  • bonfires should be lit after the firework display unless sufficiently far away to ensure stray bonfire sparks cannot fall into among the fireworks
  • never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries – they could explode
  • don’t leave bonfires unattended – ensure an adult is in charge until they have burnt out
  • always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of emergency
  • make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving
  • damp them down with water at the end of the evening – or if you have to leave them even for a short while

For bonfire night safety guidance to help keep you, your family and your pets safe, please read the firework safety information on the HWFRS website