In emergencies call 999

Bonfire Night 2020

This Bonfire Night, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is urging people NOT to host events or have bonfires at their own private property.

Due to coronavirus, Bonfire Night will be celebrated differently with many of the usual organised events not going ahead. WYFRS is not trying to ruin anyone’s fun but please do not host an event, abide by local restrictions and practice social distancing this Bonfire season.

We want everyone to enjoy the bonfire season responsibly and encourage families NOT to host their own bonfires or events. Garden bonfires can so easily get out of control. Not only do these pose a serious risk to yourself, your family and the public, but they also take our crews away from other potentially life-threatening incidents.

A great deal of work goes into preparing neighbourhoods for the bonfire period, in order to clear any potential fuel for arsonists. Last year we received over 500 emergency calls on the evening of Bonfire Night alone. 66 of the incidents that we attended were bonfire related.

We’ll be sharing safety messages throughout the bonfire season so be sure to follow us across all our social media channels.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

Facebook Lives.

Earlier this month we broadcast 2 Facebook live sessions, hosted by some of our senior officers. You can watch the first of these sessions back, below.


Safety Messages

However you spend your Bonfire Night, please follow our safety advice: 

  • Just one mistake this Bonfire Night could leave you scarred for life.
  • If you or somebody you know insists on having a bonfire, please follow all the safety information on the tab to the right.
  • Keep everyone well away from fires and fireworks – especially children – and keep pets indoors
  • Avoid drinking alcohol whilst in charge of a bonfire or fireworks
  • In case of an emergency, keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready
  • Only children over the age of five are allowed to use sparklers and should be supervised by an adult at all times
  • Prank 999 calls are a criminal offence



Despite encouraging people to NOT host their own bonfires, if you, or somebody you know insists on having a bonfire then we’d advise you to please follow all of the below safety measures.

Even the smallest of garden bonfires can easily get out of control, putting yourself and others at risk.

  • Prepare for the bonfire in advance, and in daylight. On the night you will need a torch, a bucket of water, eye protection and gloves, a bucket of soft earth to put fireworks in and suitable supports and launchers if you’re setting off Catherine wheels or rockets.
  • Site the bonfire well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs AND ALWAYS AWAY FROM FIREWORKS.
  • Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side.
  • Check the bonfire for hiding pets or wild animals before lighting it. Small animals like hedgehogs or frogs may have made their home in it.
  • Don’t use a Bonfire to get rid of household waste if it will cause pollution or harm people’s health. Contact your local council to find out how to have these items removed and about recycling in your area.
  • NEVER use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire.
  • Don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols, tins of paint and bottles.
  • Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children, who must be supervised all the time.
  • Keep pets indoors. Ensure doors, windows, and curtains are closed to reduce the sounds of explosions, and have some background noise on to help distract them, e.g. the TV. Don’t try to coax them out of hiding; this may frighten them more.
  • For an emergency keep buckets of water or the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready.
  • Pour water on the embers before leaving.
  • Call 999 at the earliest opportunity if you think the fire is becoming out of control

Fireworks Safety 

  • Fireworks can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly
  • Always buy fireworks from a retailer licensed by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and read the safety information detailed with the appropriate CE marking.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time
  • Always light the firework at arm’s length using a taper or fuse wick and stand well back – never return to a firework once it has been lit
  • Click here for information on the law and when you can set off fireworks
  • Always follow the Fireworks Code
  • You can not purchase fireworks under the age of 18 & you can be fined or imprisoned for buying or using fireworks illegally. (The law says you must not set off or throw fireworks, including sparklers, in the street or other public places.)
  • Adult fireworks are category 2 and 3 fireworks – they don’t include things like party poppers.

Selling Fireworks

  • You can only sell fireworks that conform to EU safety standards and which carry the CE mark and meet certain noise conditions. They must have the CE mark printed on each item or on the retail packaging
  • Category 4 fireworks can only be used by professionals.
  • You cannot sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18
  • Fire Service inspectors work with Trading Standards to do spot checks on retailers in the lead up to the bonfire period
  • If you suspect someone may be selling illegal fireworks you can report them to Trading Standards