Staying safe during the excitement of Bonfire Night

Bonfire night is a national event which can be great fun for all the family. However, it does often cause some high-risk environments and precautions should be taken by event organisers, attendees and local residents to make sure the event runs smoothly, and everyone stays safe.

We all know that fireworks can be very dangerous if they aren’t handled properly and if fire safety is not kept in mind. 2018 saw a rise of 11% more emergency service calls due to bonfire related injuries, with around half of these injuries being children under the age of 16*. Most of the injuries are due to unsafe handling and the lack of safety**.

Below, we look at how you can keep safe this Guy Fawkes night, whatever role you’re playing in the celebrations.

The Organiser

  • Planning your bonfire event is key to making sure it is enjoyable and safe, ensuring it finishes before midnight. It is illegal to set fireworks off after this time.
  • Make sure the bonfire is built approximately 18 metres away from houses, trees, hedges, fences and sheds.
  • Use a rope or other suitable barrier around the bonfire to make sure people are stood at a suitable distance .
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby, ready for emergencies. There should be someone responsible for the bonfire at all times.
  • Only buy fireworks with the ‘CE’ mark on the box – this shows that they conform with British Standards – and keep the box sealed until you wish to use them.
  • Ensure you use the fireworks as the instructions direct you to.
  • Fireworks should be lit with a taper, at arm’s length.
  • Do not approach a firework once it has been lit.
  • After the bonfire, make sure you pour water on the fire, to ensure it’s put out immediately.
  • It’s always a good idea to check the bonfire for hiding pets or wild animals before it is lit.


  • If you’re attending with children, they should be supervised at all times.
  • Make sure you are stood away from the bonfire and fireworks, in the designated areas.
  • Use one sparkler at a time, at arm’s length and wearing gloves.
  • If attending with children, they should be supervised by adults if using sparklers – sparklers must not be used by children under the age of 5 years old.
  • Used sparklers should be placed in a bucket filled with water immediately. You should also make sure not to touch the end of the sparkler long after it has stopped burning.

Local Residents

  • Make sure you keep your pets indoors on bonfire night:
  • If you have a dog, walk them prior to darkness
  • Make sure any animals cannot escape from the house, garden or yard
  • Keep your animals occupied so they don’t become anxious at the noise of the celebrations
  • If you suffer from illnesses, such as heart problems, asthma or bronchitis, it may sensible to stay indoors. You can still enjoy the fireworks from your window!

If you are organising a Bonfire event, please contact your Account Handler who will be able to help provide you with insurance cover. Alternatively, you can call us on 01653 697055.

And last, but certainly not least, be sure to enjoy yourself whatever you get up to this Bonfire Night!



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