Bonfires and fireworks

Fireworks party safety

Plan carefully before hosting a fireworks party.

During your party remember:

  • fireworks must only be handled and lit by responsible adults
  • alcohol and fire don't mix – nor do alcohol and fireworks
  • fireworks must be kept in a closed box well away from the bonfire or any other sources of heat or fire
  • different fireworks can present different hazards and so their instructions vary – always follow the instructions on each firework
  • use a torch to read instructions in the dark – do not use a naked flame
  • let fireworks off one at a time
  • never to throw fireworks – it's highly dangerous
  • light fireworks at arm's length, using a taper
  • never play with fireworks – they are explosives and can hurt you
  • stand well back when you are watching fireworks
  • never go near a firework that has been lit as it could still explode, even if it hasn't gone off
  • hold sparklers one at a time in gloved hands at arm's length
  • when the sparkler goes out it's still very hot, so put it end down in a bucket of water
  • never leave matches or lighters lying around

We recommend that you don't use sky lanterns as you have no control over them once they're let go. They can kill animals, litter the countryside and start fires. If you do set them off, always follow the manufacturers' notes carefully.

After your party:

  • pick up the spent firework cases – they can still be dangerous
  • use a torch to look for fireworks, and pick them up using heatproof gloves and tongs or some other suitable tool
  • don't allow children to collect firework cases
  • if any firework looks as if it hasn't gone off after at least half an hour, soak it in water to prevent it reigniting