Fireworks & bonfires
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Fireworks and bonfire safety
The number of firework injuries has risen dramatically in recent years. The safest place to enjoy fireworks is at an organised display. But if you are having your own display follow these simple tips to ensure a fun and safe evening.
- Buy quality fireworks with the BS7114 Part 2 1988 quality mark
- Only adults should light or hold fireworks
- Stand well back from firework displays
- Never go near a firework that has been lit
- Always point rockets straight upwards away from people, buildings, trees, etc
- Wear gloves when handling sparklers and hold at arms length
- Sparklers burn at extreme temperatures so never touch one that has gone out
- Put the hot end of a sparkler into a bucket of sand or water
- Children under 5 should never be given a sparkler
The Firework Code
- Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin
- Use fireworks one at a time, replacing the lid immediately
- Never put fireworks in your pocket
- Read the instructions carefully using a torch or hand lamp - never use a naked flame
- Light fireworks at arms length using a taper or a firework lighter
- Ensure that all children with fireworks are well supervised
- Never throw fireworks
- Keep all pets and animals indoors as fireworks can frighten animals
Thanks to West Sussex Fire and Rescue service for the above information.
Our trading standards officers say 'no ID no sale' to fireworks traders.
The Fireworks Regulations 2004 prohibit anyone under 18 from possessing fireworks, and anyone except professionals possessing display fireworks. These regulations also prohibit the use of fireworks at night (11pm-7am) with extensions for the following festivals:
- Until 1am on the night of the Chinese New Year
- Until 1am on the night of Diwali
- Until 1am on New Year's Eve
- Until midnight on 5 November
These regulations are enforced by the police and not the local council. There is a penalty of up to £5000 or six months in prison for breach of these regulations.
More information can be found on the gov.uk fireworks safety and the law page.
- Fires should be kept well away from fences, garden sheds and other buildings - be aware of wind direction
- Cordon off the area - never let children near the fire
- Never use flammable liquids to light the fire
- Always have a bucket of water or garden hose nearby
- Never leave a bonfire unattended - make sure it is extinguished before going back indoors
- Never put aerosol cans on a fire
- Take care if you suffer from asthma or respiratory problems as during bonfire night air quality may be poor
More information on domestic and commercial bonfires and smoke control can be found on our bonfires and smoke page.