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Bonfire Safety

Last updated  13 June 2018

One of the major causes of garden fires are bonfires people build and light in their own gardens. These can rapidly get out of control and the fire spread to garden sheds and wooden fencing and from there to the main house, garages and vehicles. Please follow our advice to avoid causing a serious fire in your garden.

 Picture of bonfire

If you want to have a bonfire, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Build the bonfire well away from sheds, fences and trees;
  • Don’t use petrol or paraffin to start the fire it can get out of control quickly;
  • Burn small amounts of waste at a time rather than build one large bonfire;
  • Warn your neighbours beforehand - so they are aware and can make necessary preparations;
  • Only burn dry material, do not burn anything which is wet or damp, this causes more smoke;
  • Check there are no cables (telephone wires etc.) above the bonfire.  

Once the bonfire is lit, make sure you:

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby - in case of emergencies;
  • NEVER leave the bonfire unattended, it can quickly get out of control even if it appears to have burnt down;
  • Keep children and pets away from the bonfire;
  • Don’t throw any fireworks into the fire;
  • Don't burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint - this could produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury;
  • Once the bonfire has died down, spray the embers with water to stop it reigniting.

For more advice about who to contact about nuisance bonfires see the leaflets below.

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