At this time of year, we see an increased number of injuries and incidents from celebrations on Halloween and bonfire night as people have parties or barbecues, or head outside to enjoy a good bonfire and firework display.
We need to make sure that we all take a little more care at this time of year and stay safe from the risk of fire which can be devastating to people, properties, wildlife and habitats.
Taking care and responsibility with a few simple steps can help to keep you safe, and protect lives, land and nature.
BONFIRE SAFETY TIPS
Fire can spread easily, so where and how you build your bonfire is important. If you have a bonfire, follow these simple guidelines:
- Warn your neighbours beforehand - they are much less likely to complain.
- Only burn dry material, damp causes more smoke.
- Build the bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees.
- Check there are no cables, like telephone wires, above the bonfire.
- Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going as it may get out of control quickly.
- As a rule of thumb, the bonfire should be a minimum of five times its height away from any property or boundary fencing.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies.
- NEVER leave the bonfire unattended.
- Keep children and pets away from the bonfire.
- NEVER throw any fireworks into the fire.
- NEVER burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint, many of these produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury.
- Once the bonfire has died down, spray the embers with water to ensure is is completely distinguished and stop it reigniting.
FIREWORK SAFETY TIPS
The safest way to enjoy fireworks would be to attend an organised public display. If you’re putting on a home display, you should follow some simple steps to make sure that everyone has a good time without getting hurt.
- Keep children safe and well away from fireworks.
- Store fireworks according to manufacturer’s guidelines.
- make sure you buy them from a reputable supplier, that they conform to British Standards and have BS 7114 written on the box.
- Never put fireworks in your pockets.
- Use a torch not naked flame around unspent fireworks.
- Light fireworks at arm’s length and always with a taper.
- Never return to a lit firework.
- Have a bucket or two of water ready for emergencies.
- Wear eye protection and gloves.
- Use a bucket of soft earth to put fireworks in.
- Use suitable supports and launchers if you’re setting off Catherine wheels or rockets.
- Sparklers can become 5x hotter than cooking oil and cause serious injury. They are not toys. Make sure extinguished sparklers are put in a bucket of cold water and not discarded on the ground where they could ignite land or property or be picked up again whilst still hot and cause injury.
We always advise against the use of candles and tea lights but, if you do use them, please keep them in a sturdy holder on a level surface, away from combustible materials and out of the reach of children or pets.
- Never leave them unattended, always blow them out before leaving the room.
- Never leave candles on a window sill where a breeze may blow curtains/blinds onto the naked flame.
- Make sure your BBQ is in good working order.
- Make sure your BBQ is on a flat site, well away from trees, shrubs, fences, sheds or any other flammables.
- Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
- Only use recognised fire lighters or starter fuel and only on COLD coals. Use the minimum necessary and never use petrol.
- Never leave the BBQ unattended.
- Ensure there is no build-up of grease or fat that could act as an accelerant.
- Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies.
- Ensure the BBQ is cool before attempting to move it.
- Do not dispose of ashes until you are positive they are completely cool.
- Do not pack away a recently used BBQ in a shed or other building unless it is COMPLETELY cooled.
We do not allow BBQs on balconies or open walkways.
Further advice and guidance can be found on the following websites: