This year we are urging residents across the county to show respect and think twice about holding their own firework displays.
Bonfire Night is historically a very popular fixture in the calendar where people come together to enjoy fireworks, however this year is very different. With the COVID-19 pandemic still with us the organised displays we would usually enjoy cannot take place, meaning many people may look to have their own displays.
While most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause injury and damage to property. Fireworks are explosives and as such should be treated with respect and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the firework safety code. Also lighting bonfires in back gardens present significant risks to residents.
We would encourage residents across the county to think twice before having their own displays and lighting bonfires in the properties this year. Not only do these present risks for residents and our crews, with the pandemic still with us we all have a responsibility to ensure we don't put unnecessary strain on emergency services. Please show respect this Bonfire Night and think twice about having your own display.
Some residents will still want to enjoy fireworks in their own properties, so we urge them to show respect and follow the firework safety code, ensuring they take all the necessary precautions.
Residents wanting to have their own displays still need to remember the government's rule of six to help control the spread of COVID-19. We would also urge those residents to not light a bonfire as part of their celebrations. Not only do they present risks, but the smoke can also aggravate coronavirus symptoms for those that might be shielding or isolating.
Firework safety code
- Only buy fireworks with a CE mark
- Don't drink alcohol if you're setting off fireworks
- Keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions carefully when using them
- Light them at arms length using a taper and stand well back
- Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn't gone off, it could still explode
- Never throw fireworks, and never put them in your pocket
- Respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws to follow
- Take care with sparklers – never give them to children under five. Even when they've gone out they're still hot, so put sparklers in a bucket of water after use
- Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening.
Fireworks and the law
It is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in public places, and an offence for anyone, other than a firework professional, to possess professional display fireworks.
Police have the power to issue fixed penalty notices to those under the age of 18 caught with fireworks in a public place.
It is illegal to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am. On November 5th displays can continue until midnight, and on certain occasions, such as New Year’s Eve, Diwali, and Chinese New Year, fireworks can be set off until 1am.
Our colleagues at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have released a video showing the consequences of misusing fireworks:
Organising special events
With the COVID-19 pandemic still with us, we would encourage people to think twice about holding an organised fireworks display due to the restrictions in place around controlling the virus spread.
If however you are looking for advice, help yourself stay safe by using our simple guidance:
- Be aware of the locations of emergency exits
- Listen carefully to any safety advice given
- Notify a member of staff if you notice that a fire exit is blocked, or fire doors have been wedged open
- If there is a fire, stay calm and raise the alarm
- Move as quickly as possible. Don't try to pick up valuables or possessions
- If necessary call the fire brigade on 999 and clearly state the address of the fire
- Do not attempt to fight a fire yourself – seek assistance from the event organisers.