1. ITV Report

Bonfire night: How to stay safe

Stay safe on bonfire night this year Photo: ITV Border

Bonfire nights are great fun for all the family. However, things can go badly wrong if you don't ensure proper safety measurements are in place for bonfires and fireworks.

Stick to the guidelines below and everyone can have a safe and fun night.

Bonfire safety

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
  • 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
Bonfires can be dangerous unless treated with respect Credit: ITV Border

Firework safety for adults

  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed boxFollow the instructions on each firework
  • Light at arm's length, using a taper
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
  • Always supervise children around fireworks
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves

Firework safety for under 18's

  • You must be 18 years old before you can buy a firework
  • You must be 18 years old to have a firework in the street
  • Wear gloves if you are holding a sparkler
  • Never give sparklers to children under 5 years old
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Stand well back
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit
  • Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode
  • Only adults should touch fireworks, it's best to go to an organised display
Fireworks should only be handled by people aged 18 or over Credit: ITV Border

Firefighters in Carlisle have teamed up with the police to help clamp down on anti-social behaviour over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.

Operation Roman Candle is a joint campaign by Council's, the emergency services and trading standards.

The initiative will see a range of activities taking place to tackle deliberate fire setting and nuisance behaviour.

"Every year we see a rise in the number of deliberate fires that are started during a two-week period which includes half-term, Halloween and Bonfire Night.

"We want to make sure that our fire appliances are available for real emergencies and not wasting valuable time on nuisance calls, which is why we take clamping down on anti-social behaviour so seriously."


If you would like more safety advice on bonfires and fireworks, you can contact your local police station or fire brigade.

Dumfries and Galloway Police

Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service