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Expert advice for a safe and happy bonfire night party

Top safety tips from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Jane Meredith

Jane Meredith


01635 886637

BH 031112 - Fireworks at the Newbury Race Course

BONFIRES built too close to fences and fireworks which fail safety standards are among bonfire night safety hazards - with a plea to keep pets indoors this evening (bonfire night - Nov 5).

The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging people to celebrate safely this bonfire night with some expert and top safety pointers. 

Iain Harrison, group manager for prevention at RBFRS, said an organised public display was the safest way to enjoy a bonfire and fireworks, however those planning a private event should heed the following safety advice.

Fireworks which meet British or European safety standards should be marked BS 7114 or with a CE mark.  Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks; keep fireworks in a closed box; light at arm's length, using a taper and stand well back.  Never go near a firework that has been lit, put fireworks in a pocket, or throw them. Never give sparklers to a child under five. Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.

Bonfires should be built well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures.

Never burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint – many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode causing injury. 

Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going, as it could quickly get out of control and keep a bucket of water, or a garden hose nearby, in case of emergencies.

Never leave the bonfire unattended and keep children and pets away from it.

Don’t throw fireworks into the fire and once the bonfire has died down, spray the embers with water to stop it reigniting.

Flickering LED candles are a safer option to candles, which could fall over and start a fire. Never allow small children to carry lanterns lit by naked flames. The handle could become hot or the child could slip and lanterns should never be made from plastic bottles or other plastic containers.Ensure all candles are fully extinguished before going out, or to bed.

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