Stay Safe This Bonfire Night

Firefighters are bracing themselves for a busy Bonfire Night. They get on average 50% more calls than any other night of the year.

Avon Fire & Rescue have released a list of do's and don'ts for anyone planning their own bonfire and fireworks at home.

  • Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges.
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire and never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries. This could produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury.
  • Warn your neighbours beforehand so they are aware and can make necessary preparations.
  • Only burn dry material, do not burn anything which is wet or damp, this causes more smoke.
  • Check there are no cables (telephone or electricity wires) above the bonfire.
  • Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of fire.
  • Before lighting your bonfire check that no wild creatures like hedgehogs are inside.

Once the bonfire is lit, make sure you:

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby - in case of emergencies.
  • Don't leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with plenty of water.
  • Keep children and pets away from the bonfire.
  • Don't throw any fireworks into the fire.
  • Only buy fireworks complying with the British Standard (BS7114)
  • Over half of all injuries are to children under the age of 15
  • Any reputable dealer or retailer will sell fireworks that comply with this standard. If you are offered any others do not buy them and contact trading standards to let them know.
  • Follow the Firework Code
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box or tin.
  • Follow the instructions on each firework.
  • Light fireworks at arm's length, using a taper.
  • Stand well back.
  • Never go near a firework which has been lit. Even if it hasn't gone off, as it could still explode.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pockets.
  • Never throw fireworks.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • If possible go along to an organised fireworks display

Over half of injuries every year are to children under the age of 15. The most common injuries are to the hands, wrists and eyes and most of these are caused by sparklers:

  • Always supervise children with sparklers.
  • Teach them to hold the sparkler at arms length.
  • Explain to them that sparklers get very hot and will burn their skin if not held correctly.
  • Don’t give sparklers to children under 5 years of age, as they may not understand the dangers.
  • Keep a container of water nearby, large enough and deep enough to put sparklers in after use.

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