03 November 2010

Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service is advising people how to stay safe this bonfire night.

Whether organising a firework display or bonfire night party for family, friends or the general public, it’s vital that the utmost care is taken in firework storage, handling and use as well as lighting bonfires.

Cara Payne, community fire safety supervisor for the fire and rescue said: “Fireworks are fun, but they are also dangerous. We want you to have a safe event and by following some simply dos and don’ts, the risks can be greatly reduced.”


  • 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.
  • Wear a protective hat, gloves and have eye protection, such as goggles.
  • Keep children under control. (See BONFIRES below)
  • Keep pets indoors.


Sparklers are often viewed as a more harmless firework, but experts say that sparklers can get six times as hot as a pan of cooking oil. They burn fiercely and are not suitable for children under the age of five.

If you buy sparklers, then store them in a closed box in a cool, dry place. Sparklers are not suitable to take to public displays, as it’s often too crowded to use them safely.

To enjoy sparklers safely:

  • Always wear gloves, preferably leather ones.
  • Get children to hold the sparklers at arms length whilst being lit by an adult and always supervise children.
  • Don’t wave sparklers about near other people.
  • Hold sparklers at arms length.
  • Don’t run when using a sparkler.
  • Don’t hold a baby at the same time as holding a sparkler
  • When the sparkler has gone out, put it into a bucket of cold water.


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.

For further information, residents can contact Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service on 01604 797000.