Bonfires, air pollution and smoke problems

Bonfire night

We usually hold some bonfires and firework displays to celebrate Bonfire Night.

You can attend a display for free at different locations across the borough.

Details of bonfires and firework displays

Bonfire night safety advice

Have a safe Bonfire Night. Please consider attending an organised event rather than risking your safety by having your own bonfire.

If you still want your own bonfire, please ensure you follow these guidelines:

  • Bonfires should be 18 metres from buildings, trees, fences, overhead cables and car parking areas. Only clean, dry timber should be burned.
  • Bonfires should be no more than 3 metres in height. There should be a suitable barrier around the bonfire to keep spectators 5 metres away.
  • Don't burn aerosols, batteries, bottles, foam-filled furniture, tins of paint or tyres.
  • Don't use petrol, paraffin, diesel or white spirit to light the bonfire - use firelighters instead.
  • Check that no children or animals are hiding in the bonfire before lighting.

Fireworks and sparklers safety advice

If you're planning on hosting a fireworks party "be safe, not sorry" and keep it free from accidents by following the Fireworks Code:

  • Ideally, attend an organised display. Remember that alcohol and fireworks don't mix and may lead to injury.
  • Buy fireworks from a reputable retailer and only those marked BS 7114.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box - never put fireworks in your pocket.
  • Follow the instructions on each firework. Light them at arm's length using a taper, stand well back and never go back to a lit firework. Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby if you're setting off fireworks in your garden.
  • Never throw fireworks and make sure you keep pets indoors.
  • Prepare for the party in advance and in daylight. On the night, you'll need a torch, a bucket of water, eye protection, gloves, a bucket of soft earth to put fireworks in and suitable supports and launchers if you're setting off Catherine wheels or rockets.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks and never give sparklers to a child under the age of 5. Leave the lighting of fireworks to responsible adults only.

Government advice and the law

It's illegal to let fireworks off between 11pm and 7am. On Bonfire Night, this is extended so you can let off fireworks until midnight. It's also illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place.

Government guide to organising bonfires and fireworks