It’s that time of year when the clocks have gone back, the evenings are darker and the heating is switched up.  It’s also just a few days to go until bonfire night.  We don’t want to spoil the family fun but there’s no getting away from it – fireworks can be dangerous.

So, to help your evening get off to a safe and secure bang, we’ve come up with some safety tips to keep you and your loved ones free from accidents this 5th November. In the build up to bonfire night, South Wales Fire Service is urging residents to be extra vigilant to ensure the season goes with a bang for all the right reasons.

Bonfire Safety Tips

Bonfire night Don’t use Bonfire Night as an opportunity to burn waste or household rubbish. These items should be recycled or disposed of using your weekly rubbish collection service or at your local recycling or waste disposal centre.

If you are planning to build a bonfire this year, then we advise you follow these guidelines:

  • Keep everyone at a safe distance from the fire
  • Bonfires should be on open ground at least 15 metres away from houses, fences, sheds, trees or overhead cables etc. Always keep bonfires small
  • Always check bonfires for nesting animals and other wildlife before lighting
  • Whoever is supervising the fire should not drink alcohol
  • Never leave bonfires unattended
  • Water should be readily available to control the fire. If the fire becomes out of control call 999 immediately and ask for the fire service
  • Never use accelerants on a bonfire, i.e. petrol, paraffin or aerosols

Firework Safety Tips

When buying fireworks, you should only purchase BS 7114 products.  All reputable retailers will only sell fireworks to this standard.

When it comes to lighting the fireworks on bonfire night, you should:

  • Keep everyone at a safe distance from the fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Never leave fireworks unattended
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light all fireworks at arms’ length
  • Stand well back
  • If using sparklers, always wear gloves
  • Never go back to a lit firework
  • Never throw fireworks
  • Keep pets indoors

Importantly, if your clothes catch fire STOP, DROP AND ROLL.

Safety Equipment

To ensure your bonfire activities are carried out safely, you should have to hand:

  • A torch
  • Buckets of water (for extinguishing sparklers or for emergencies)
  • Buckets of sand
  • A Class ‘A’ Water-based fire extinguisher
  • A hose (hooked up to a water source)
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves
  • A bucket of soft earth to put the fireworks in.
  • Suitable supports and launchers, e.g. for Catherine wheels
  • Furthermore, make sure to cover as many parts of your skin as possible, just in case