A team of gardening experts has issued safety advice so families can enjoy bonfire fun without disaster this year.
Many families attend organised fireworks displays (click here), but garden bonfires are also common up and down the country.
From where and how to build a safe bonfire, to preventing avoidable accidents, planning and preparation are key to Bonfire Night entertainment.
(1) A desirable spot for a bonfire should be sheltered from the wind and far away from any obstacles such as fences, sheds or trees.
(2) A stable ‘teepee’ of light wood, on a bed of tinder (twigs and grass), in a shallow pit is the ideal construction for a family bonfire, with gaps left for oxygen to ventilate the flames.
(3) To light the fire and get the party started, it is recommended to check for animals hiding inside and then simply drop a match into the centre of the bonfire.
(4) Never use flammable liquids or throw anything items in with the organic materials. In particular, avoid paraffin or petrol, aerosols, bottles, tins or furniture.
(5) Once the bonfire is lit everyone, especially children, should remain at a safe distance and there must be water on hand (either buckets or a hose) in case it gets out of control.
(6) It is also important, once the fire has died and the party is finished, to douse and bury the embers.