Bonfire Safety

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is actively trying to reduce the number of deliberately started small fires such as rubbish and bonfires across our county. Last year, we attended 243 deliberately started small fires over the bonfire period. This was a reduction of 33.61% compared with 2018.

You can help to reduce the number of incidents by NEVER giving combustible materials to anyone, especially young people. Make sure your wheelie bin is not accessible to others and ensure any flammable material is kept out of sight.

This year, as a result of COVID-19, there will be no organised displays. The majority of accidents happen at private parties so if you must have fireworks at home, please follow this safety advice, and make sure you follow the COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Last year, over the bonfire period, we removed 47.5 tonnes of bonfire materials, including wood, mattresses and couches. If you see a build up of combustible material that could be used on a bonfire, report it to us via our Bonfire referral form here.

Our message is simple, have fun but stay safe during the bonfire season.

Bonfire Safety Tips

If you have a bonfire, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Bonfires can only be held on private land with the owner’s permission
  • Warn your neighbours beforehand - so they are aware and can make necessary preparations
  • Only burn dry material, do not burn anything which is wet or damp, this causes more smoke
  • Check there are no cables (telephone wires etc.) above the bonfire
  • Build the bonfire well away from buildings, sheds, fences and trees
  • Do not use petrol or paraffin to start the fire it can get out of control quickly

Once the bonfire is lit, make sure you: 

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby - in case of emergencies
  • Do not leave the bonfire unattended
  • Keep children and pets away from the bonfire
  • Do not throw any fireworks into the fire
  • Do not burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint - this could produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury
  • Once the bonfire has died down, pour water on the embers to stop it reigniting and ensure it is completely extinguished
Links to external websites:

Advice to organisers of bonfire/fireworks displays (opens in new window)