Fire Brigade offers safety advice for fireworks on Bonfire Night

Cost pressures have seen the cancellation of several public firework displays planned for Bonfire Night.

With Diwali being celebrated tonight, the fireworks season will get underway, and the London Fire Brigade has issued guidance for the public for those considering staging a display at home.

There are strict laws over when you can let off fireworks, where and what type. If you get it wrong, you could be fined or put yourself or others at risk.

Having people over in your garden to enjoy your display is completely legal.

Some things to note are:

  • You can only set off fireworks and light sparklers on your property, it’s against the law to set off fireworks in public places – and you can face a hefty fine if you do.
  • You are only usually allowed to set fireworks off between 11am – 7pm, but the time is extended to midnight on Bonfire Night, and 1am on New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year.
  • Fireworks are only sold in the UK between October 15 to November 10 and December 26 to the 31.
  • Remember to look after pets too – for many dogs this is their least favourite time of the year.

It’s important to know that you can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

While there are no laws against having a bonfire in your own garden, there are regulations put in place regarding the nuisance they can cause.

  • They must not cause a nuisance to your neighbours.
  • Control the smoke to make sure it doesn’t drift across the roads and become a danger to motorists.
  • Do not burn household waste causing pollution, such as aerosols, tyres, or paint as many can produce toxic fumes.
  • Tell your neighbours so they can close windows or remove washing from clotheslines.
  • Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going.
  • Build the bonfire away from sheds, fences, and trees.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies.
  • Never leave the bonfire unattended.
  • Don’t throw any fireworks into the fire.
  • A responsible adult should supervise the bonfire until it has burnt out.
  • Once the bonfire has died down, spray the embers with water and make sure it is completely extinguished before leaving it.

You can be hit with a fine of up to £50,000 if you are caught burning household rubbish.

Traumatising: fireworks make life a misery for pets, and their owners

A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said, “While we know that this bonfire season will be much anticipated by family and friends after the last few years, we’re asking people to consider alternative ways to celebrate rather than hosting fireworks displays at home.

“Find an organised fireworks display near you instead.” Click here to see NowCroydon.com’s listing of nearby displays.

“They’re controlled and much safer, and it will also be more considerate for your neighbours and any pets. If you can’t attend an organised event, why not get creative with firework alternatives, like glow sticks and garden lights?

“If you do choose to use fireworks, make sure you familiarise yourself with our advice, ensure you have enough space to use them, carefully read the instructions and stay safe.

“Take care when buying fireworks. Buy them from a reputable, licensed seller and always look for the CE safety mark. Keep them in a closed box, use them one at a time, never drink alcohol and set off fireworks and don’t throw fireworks or return to a firework once it has been lit and under no circumstances set off fireworks on a balcony.

“It’s important to also be careful with sparklers, particularly with children, as they can stay hot enough to cause serious burns even after they burn out.”


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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