02 November 2011

Celebrate safely and handle fireworks with care - this is the message from Northamptonshire County Council's fire and rescue service ahead of the weekend's bonfire night celebrations.

Community protection officer Lisa Bryan said: “We all want to enjoy bonfire night and the firework displays that come with it. Whether you are attending or organising a display for family and friends or the general public we want to try to ensure there are no accidents and injuries this weekend. Fireworks in particular can be dangerous and we have put together some top tips to follow to help keep people safe.”


  • 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
  • Keep pets indoors


Sparklers are often viewed as a more harmless firework, but they still burn fiercely and they're not suitable for children under the age of five years old. In fact, experts say they can get six times as hot as a pan of cooking oil.

If you buy sparklers, then store them in a closed box in a cool, dry place. They are fun to use at home, but not suitable to take to a public display, as it’s often to 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 it’s lit by an adult and always supervisor children
  • Don’t’ wave sparklers about near other people, as this could cause an accident
  • 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 basket of cold water


Please remember bonfires present hazards even before they are lit.

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.

There is further about information about firework safety and the law on the DirectGov website and on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) website.

If you require any further information please contact Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service on 01604 797000.