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Latest News  >  Bonfire night advice

At this time of year many people turn their thoughts to having a bonfire or firework display. Most people are, quite rightly, aware of the need to ensure that the parties and events they host are hosted in a safe manner.

However not many people realise that bonfires and firework displays can have a significant impact on peoples health and the environment. Over the bonfire 'season' in 2007 smoke from bonfires caused higher levels of pollution that could affect the health of sensitive groups like children with asthma (reference).

The best way to reduce the impact of bonfires and fireworks on air quality is to attend an organised event. Where large numbers of people can have an enjoyable evening and keep the effect on air quality to a minimum.

If you are considering hosting your own event, please consider all the risks and make sure it's safe.

Advice on keeping bonfires and firework displays safe is available from the fire service.

And please help to reduce the impact on air quality and health by:

  • If you are having a bonfire, only burn clean wood – don't burn any plastic, painted items or rubber that would lead to dark smoke.

  • Don't use bonfire night as an opportunity to get rid of rubbish by burning it or fly tipping. Please take your rubbish to your local recycling centre or dispose properly through a local waste contractor.

  • Don't have an excessively large bonfire.

  • Keep the bonfire as far away from residential areas as possible.

  • Try to locate the bonfire so the wind doesn't blow smoke towards houses.

  • Speak to neighbours in the area before you have the bonfire/firework display so that they can take steps to reduce the impact on them e.g. shutting windows at night.

  • If you suffer from illness that is made worse by air pollution (e.g. types of respiratory disease, asthma etc.) keep away from bonfires and ensure that you keep any medication you might need with you at all times over the bonfire night period.

Picture credit


Updated: 20/10/2009










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