Bonfire Safety

Organised Bonfires and Fireworks Displays

Merseyside Fire and 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 392 deliberately started small fires over the bonfire period. This was a reduction of 32% compared with 2016.

In an effort to reduce the costs and risks associated with this time of year, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is working with Merseyside Police and partner agencies and would like to advise that the safest events are organised bonfire and fireworks displays in and around your area. Visit your local council's website or social media pages to find out what is happening in your area.

The majority of accidents happen at private parties. It is a lot safer to attend an organised bonfire or firework display, but if you're thinking of organising your own, please follow this safety advice.

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)