As Bonfire Night approaches, people are being reminded that the safest way to celebrate is to attend a large professionally organised public event.
Chris Barber, Community Safety Manager from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Organised fireworks displays are more fun, cheaper and far safer than hosting your own fireworks or bonfire party. If you are planning on using fireworks for a private event, please keep the Fireworks Safety Code in mind”.
Top safety tips for Bonfire Night:
- Only buy CE marked fireworks from reputable and licensed shops.
- Keep fireworks in a closed, metal box.
- Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
- Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
- Never return to a firework that has not gone off, and never throw used or unused fireworks onto a bonfire.
- Never drink alcohol while lighting a bonfire or setting off fireworks.
- Always supervise children and don’t give sparklers to a child under five.
- Keep your bonfire at least 18 metres away from houses, trees and hedges. There should be a barrier around the bonfire to keep spectators five metres away. Before lighting a bonfire, check it is stable and that there are no children or animals inside.
- Only burn dry wood, never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire and think about the direction of smoke travel.
- Keep some buckets of water nearby.
- Have consideration for those around you, including notifying neighbours who may have pets or farm animals.
- Consider where fireworks and debris might fall, ensuring safety distances are provided for people to keep safe. Safety distances are provided on each firework label or package.
Please follow the advice of Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service and attend only organised public displays; it’s by far the safest option. We’re lucky to have many superb public displays on our doorsteps across the county.
However, if you do plan a private display, only buy fireworks from a reputable retailer. Before purchasing, seek advice on the suitability of fireworks for the space available, and check that they meet current safety standards.
This safety advice is part of 365alive, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service’s vision to work every day to save and improve the lives of people across the county. For more information, visit www.365alive.co.uk
If you have concerns that retailers are not storing fireworks appropriately, selling fireworks that do not display a CE mark, or selling to anyone under 18, please contact Trading Standards on 03454 04 05 06.