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Bonfires and Fireworks

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to encourage residents to be safety conscious especially at this time of year around the use of bonfires.

Take a look at our safety tips below and remember if you are concerned that a bonfire is out of control, dial 999 and ask for the Fire Service.

Reporting unlit dangerous bonfires in Northamptonshire

If you do spot a build-up of rubbish, intended to be used as a bonfire, please report it to the local council immediately.

Visit the North Northamptonshire Council website where you can report nuisance bonfires. You can also make a complaint about a nuisance bonfire contacting Regulatory Services on 0300 330 7000 or by emailing If you ring out-of-hours the complaint will be dealt with on the next working day.

Lit up bonfire

Please remember that bonfires are hazards before they are lit.

  • site the bonfire well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs and always away from fireworks
  • before lighting the fire, check that no pets or children are hiding inside it
  • build the stack so that is is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side
  • never use flammable liquids to light the fire
  • don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols , and tines of paint or bottles
  • keep everyone away from the fire – children must be supervised all the time
  • for an emergency, keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready
  • pour water on the embers before leaving

For further advice and guidance please visit the Fire Service website.

​Fireworks are popularly used on Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve and for many other celebrations, but they can pose many dangers if mishandled or misused.


  • Fireworks cannot be purchased by anyone under the age of 18
  • Pets can be easily frightened by fireworks so they should be kept indoors whenever displays are likely to happen

Firework safety advice

  • Don’t drink alcohol when setting off fireworks
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on each firework and read them by torchlight (never a naked flame)
    light fireworks at arm’s length, using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick
  • Never go back to a firework once lit, put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
  • Keep a bucket of water handy
    used fireworks should be collected after the display with care (douse them with water and dispose of them properly in a metal container)
  • Wear a protective hat, gloves and eye protection, such as goggles
  • If your clothing catches fire ‘Stop, drop and roll’

Keeping safe when using sparklers

Sparklers are often viewed as a more harmless firework, but they still burn fiercely and they’re not suitable for children under the age of five years old. In fact, experts say they can get six times as hot as a pan of cooking oil.

If you buy sparklers, store them in a closed box in a cool, dry place. They are fun to use at home, but not suitable to take to a public display as it’s often too crowded to use them safely.

To enjoy sparklers safely:

  • Always wear gloves, preferably leather ones
  • Get children to hold the sparkler at arms’ length whilst it’s lit by an adult
  • Don’t wave sparklers about near other people
  • Hold sparklers at arms’ length
  • Don’t run when using a sparkler
  • Don’t hold a baby at the same time as holding a sparkler
  • When the sparkler has gone out, put it into a basket of cold water

Disposing of used and unused fireworks:


  • SOAK IT: Submerge the firework in a bucket of water for a number of hours, 24 – 48 hours is recommended. Weigh the firework down if necessary. This will render the firework non-explosive
  • BAG IT: Put soaked fireworks into a plastic bin bag
  • BIN IT: Dispose of bin bag in normal domestic waste

Further guidance on safe disposal of fireworks may be available from the retailer or manufacturer of the firework. Please always read the instructions.

For further information and guidance, visit:

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