Be safe on Bonfire Night

29 October 2014

Written by: Rick Ogden, Lambeth Borough Commander, London Fire Brigade

Arts, culture and events - Community Safety

Bonfire Night is just a week away and you’re probably thinking about how you are going to celebrate. Will you wrap up warm and head to Lambeth Council’s display at Brockwell Park or gather with family and friends for your own home show?

Main post content

Be safe on Bonfire Night

5 November is one of the busiest nights of the year for the London Fire Brigade. Firefighters are called to hundreds of incidents ranging from out of control bonfires to fires caused by misdirected fireworks.

Our figures show on Bonfire Night, firefighters attend twice as many calls than on an average day and in London, there are as many as five times more fires than normal.

Fireworks can be spectacular, but they are explosives and can cause serious injury if handled irresponsibly. A hospital visit or damage to your home will make you remember November 5th but for all the wrong reasons.

It’s always best to attend an organised fireworks display – like the one being held at Brockwell Park on 5 November (see for details) but if you are having your own celebration stay safe by following the Firework Safety Code.

Never go near a firework that’s been lit, even if it hasn’t gone off. Never play with fireworks and ensure they are only handled by adults. Only buy fireworks marked with the British Standard Kitemark BS7114 and don’t drink alcohol when setting them off.

If building a bonfire do so clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges and never use flammable liquids to get the bonfire started. Don’t leave bonfires unattended and always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby.

I recommend visiting a public display, but if you are having a firework party please act safely and responsibly this Guy Fawkes Night. For more Bonfire Night safety tips visit