Bonfire Safety Message

20 October 2010, 10:09 | Updated: 20 October 2010, 10:25

Bonfire season is nearly upon us and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service wants people to have a happy and safe time.


Community Fire Safety Manager Steve Wright says: “Fireworks can be fun, but can also be dangerous, even lethal, if used inappropriately.

“We want to remind people to adhere to the Firework Code, as the utmost care is necessary in their storage, handling and use, whether you are organising a display for the family and friends or the general public,”

“East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service want you to have a safe event - by following some simple do’s and don’ts, risks can be greatly reduced.”

Dos and Don’ts

  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box and take them out one at a time.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on each firework. Read them by torchlight – NEVER a naked flame.
  • Light fireworks at arm’s length using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick.
  • Stand back after lighting.
  • NEVER go back to a firework once lit – it may go off in your face.
  • Keep a bucket of water handy.
  • Used fireworks should be collected after the display with care.  Douse with water, bury or place in a metal container.
  • Keep children under control. (See BONFIRES below)
  • Keep pets indoors.


Bonfires present additional hazards when it’s dark.

Dos and Don’ts

If you must light a bonfire, in connection with a fireworks display, then:

  • Site well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs AND ALWAYS AWAY FROM FIREWORKS.
  • Before lighting the fire, check that no pets or children are hiding inside it.
  • Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side.
  • NEVER use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire.
  • Don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols, and tins of paint or bottles.
  • Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children, who must be supervised all the time.
  • For an emergency keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready.
  • Pour water on the embers before leaving.

ESFRS Firework Poster