Bonfire night can be so much fun. Both the young and the young at heart celebrate the November 5th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot. On this day in 1605, Guy Fawkes, a Catholic explosives expert, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. It was, however, a failed attempt and has been commemorated ever since.

Guy Fawkes day is celebrated with fireworks, bonfires and parades. Dummies (guys) are tossed on the bonfire, causing it to flare up to the amazement of onlookers. It can be thrilling, with fireworks displays as well. The downside to it is that, there are risks to burning large fires and fireworks. In spite of safety warnings every year, there are still records of injuries and accidents during firework celebrations. On average, there are 1,000 firework-related injuries annually, the majority of which occur in family or private parties.

What Are The Risks?

Celebrating bonfire night in your home can be entertaining and can create a good setting for family time. The problem is that bonfires, if not handled properly, do not only cause injuries to people and pets, but can also cause damage to properties and gardens. This can prove to be a very costly mistake, especially if you reside in a rented accommodation. You do not want to be liable for any damage done to the property. Being very cautious, and resisting the temptation to outdo neighbours with your display, goes a long way in averting any accident, which could cost you your deposit.

There are some things you need to be clear about before holding a bonfire or fireworks party in your rented accommodation. Confirm whether or not your tenancy agreement prohibits it. It is also a good idea to talk to your neighbours about it so that you don’t antagonise people with the noise. Inviting neighbours is a good way to get them onboard, even if they don’t come.

Considering the potential repercussions involved if something goes wrong, handling fireworks is a big deal that you should not take lightly. Fireworks travel at a speed of up to 150mph, which is the same speed of some biplanes. In addition, three sparklers burning together releases the same amount of heat as a blowtorch. Fireworks are taken so seriously that it is a criminal offence to throw a firework, attracting a £5000 fine.

Keeping Safe

You can still have your bonfire fun, if you take adequate precautions. You should have a great time, but more importantly, ensure the safety of yourself, your friends, family and your surroundings. You can do this by:

  • Making sure you buy fireworks from a reputable dealer
  • Moving a considerable distance away from your property before lighting fireworks
  • Having a bonfire at least 18m away from trees, fences, hedges or sheds
  • Monitoring any sudden change in the weather- watch the wind
  • Avoiding the use of any flammable liquids, such as petrol, which some people use to keep the fire burning

These tips are by no means exhaustive. The key is to avoid any action that could cause the fire to get out of control, and ensuring safety comes first. It might be safer to enjoy your bonfire night in a public event. Statistics, based on the likelihood of accidents, have shown that the safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a public display.