Bonfire Safety

 "We would rather you didn't but if you are having a bonfire to get rid of garden waste,
take extra care. Follow the simple tips below to make sure you, and others, are safe."

Chief Fire Officer, Rod Hammerton

Fire can spread easily, so where and how you build your bonfire is important.
If you must have a bonfire, follow these simple guidelines and always call 999 if you think a fire is spreading.

Beforehand:

  • If you’re intending to have a bonfire, please advise Fire Control by calling 01743 260290
  • ​Every bonfire should be supervised throughout the whole period that it is burning – remember if a fire is left unattended and does damage to property you may not be insured.
  • Warn your neighbours beforehand - they are much less likely to complain
  • Light the bonfire at a time least likely to affect your neighbours - for example, not on a warm day when people will be in their garden
  • Only burn dry material not damp, which causes more smoke
  • Never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin to start a bonfire
  • Build the bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees
  • Check there are no cables, like telephone wires, above the bonfire
  • Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going as it may get out of control quickly
  • Don't burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint - many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury
  • As a rule of thumb the bonfire should be a minimum of five times its height from property

Once the bonfire is lit, make sure you:

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies
  • Don’t leave the bonfire unattended
  • 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 - many 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.

If you need to report a fire, ensure that you know your location or a landmark so you can direct firefighters to the scene – download the ‘what3words’ app to share the exact location.

 There are other ways to get rid of garden waste without a bonfire such as home composting.