Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Stay safe on Bonfire Night

Bonfire night is full of fun and excitement but it is also the night of the year which creates the most risk of fire. By following a few simple safety tips you can make sure that you have a safe and enjoyable evening.

The best way to stay safe on Bonfire night is to head out and enjoy an organised fireworks display. Below are details of properly organised displays taking place throughout the County.

However if people insist on hosting their own display it is vital they take the proper precautions to keep them and their guests safe.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick, ECFRS Community Safety, said: “Firstly buy fireworks sensibly. Make sure that all fireworks have passed the British Safety Standards and have been purchased from reputable shops.

"Take some care setting up for your display and make sure that you have equipped yourselves with a couple of buckets of water, a bucket of soft earth to put spent fireworks in, a torch to read instructions by and a slow burning firework lighter to light the touch papers with.

“It’s important to take great care when making and lighting a bonfire, they can easily spread out of control and have the potential to cause great harm to those near them unless they are properly built and properly looked after.

“Never use petrol, or any kind of accelerant, to light or fuel a fire. Always ensure that the fire is a safe distance from your home or anything else it could set light to, for example sheds or fences.

“Garden fires should only be made up of garden refuse and no one should burn anything other than natural garden products. Plastic and rubber burn in an unpredictable way and create extremely noxious fumes and are not suitable for residential areas.

“Make sure that all fireworks have passed the British Safety Standards and are set off a safe distance from all spectators, buildings, sheds and fences. People should only light one firework at a time and remember do not return to a firework that hasn’t gone off because it could yet go up.

“It is also important to stay safe with sparklers, they should never be given to a child under five years old, must always be held at arm’s length and in a gloved hand. Once they have gone out put sparklers in bucket of water or sand. Sparklers burn five times hotter than cooking oil and must be treated with care.

“Make sure all animals are kept indoors and that young children are under constant adult supervision.

“Always follow the fireworks code and you won’t go too far wrong, it is a few simple rules all of which are just common sense really.”

The Firework Code

• Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
• Keep fireworks in a closed non-flammable box.
• Follow the instructions on each firework.
• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper.
• Stand well back.
• Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
• Always supervise children around fireworks.
• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
• Never give sparklers to a child under five.
• Keep pets indoors.
• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11pm.

We will be updating the map as we learn of displays so if organisers want to let us know of their display they can email us here: webmaster@essex-fire.gov.uk

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