Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to be extra vigilant around Bonfire Night to ensure the season goes off with a bang for all the right reasons.
Attending an organised event (see a list of 2022 events here) with a professional firework display is safer and more spectacular, but HFRS wish to make the public aware of the dangers of building their own bonfires.
Bonfire Night should not be viewed as a chance to burn waste or household rubbish. They should be recycled or disposed of using the household collection service or at one of the waste and recycling centres across the region.
Patrols will be working alongside Humberside Police to identify illegal bonfires being built in the run up to Halloween and Bonfire Night itself.
As always, there will be a crackdown on the illegal sale of fireworks. If the public are concerned by rogue suppliers, please contact Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133 or for a fly-tipping concern, then they should ring their local Council on the numbers below:
East Riding of Yorkshire Council – 01482 393939
Hull City Council – 01482 300300
North East Lincolnshire Council – 01472 313131
North Lincolnshire Council – 01724 297000
Fireworks are part of the bonfire night celebrations but if not used properly can be very dangerous. The Service urges residents to follow this safety advice to ensure people’s safety:
- Only buy fireworks with a CE mark. All reputable dealers will only sell fireworks to this standard
- Keep fireworks in a closed box
- Follow the instructions on each firework
- Light all fireworks at arms length
- Stand well back
- Never go back to a lit firework
- Never throw fireworks
- Fireworks should not be let off in the street
- Keep pets indoors
Always follow the Firework Code. Print out your own copy from the British Fireworks Association.
HFRS Position Statement - Fireworks
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service do not condone the use of fireworks at home. We actively encourage the public to attend an organised bonfire or firework display.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service does not have any involvement or hold any responsibility for the disposal of, damaged, unwanted or unused fireworks.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service are committed to making the local community safer utilising the skills, knowledge, information and experience of its employees and relevant partner organisations.
Most injuries throughout the bonfire period occur as a result of people building their own bonfires and setting off their own fireworks.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will:
• Educate people around the dangers of fireworks.
• Ensure safety standards and licences are adhered to at organised events, offering advice and guidance to organisers.
• Work with local councils to enforce where occupiers are breaching the Environmental Protection Act.
• Proactively work with the police and other partners around the bonfire period to try to reduce callouts, serious incidents and arson.
• Work with partners such as the Police and Trading Standards to ensure only fireworks that meet the correct standards are available to buy.
HFRS Position Statement - Bonfires / Controlled Burning
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service actively encourage the public to always, where possible, attend organised events for bonfire celebrations / firework displays.
It is not illegal to have bonfires on private property, however, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 states it must not cause “unreasonable interference” with others’ enjoyment of their own property. Frequently bonfires / burning of garden waste can cause disputes with neighbours and other community issues which may be seen as antisocial behaviour.
Therefore, if you do have a bonfire, whether it’s part of a celebration or the burning of garden waste, do take care and show consideration for your neighbours whom may have respiratory difficulties.
Building a Bonfire
Fire can easily spread. Where and how you build your bonfire is important. Follow these simple guidelines:
• Warn your neighbours beforehand - they are much less likely to complain
• Light the bonfire at a time least likely to affect your neighbours - for example, not on a warm day when people will be in their garden or may have washing hung out to dry
• Do not use accelerants such as paraffin, particularly petrol, to get the fire going as it may get out of control quickly or cause serious and life changing injury
• Only burn dry material, not damp or wet which causes more smoke
• Build the bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees
• Check there are no cables, like telephone wires, above the bonfire
• As a rule of thumb, the bonfire should be a minimum of five times its height away from property
Bonfire Safety Tips
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 - many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury
NB: Once the bonfire has died down, spray the embers with water to stop it reigniting.
Getting rid of your garden waste without a bonfire
You can get rid of your garden waste without making a bonfire. Most garden waste, like grass cuttings and leaves, can be recycled by composting.
Making a complaint
It is not illegal to have bonfires on private property (subject to any clean air restrictions which may apply specifically to where you live). However,
burning damp garden waste and particularly unsuitable waste can lead to a breach of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Your local council environmental protection team enforce this legislation (not the Fire Service). If you wish to make a complaint against a neighbour who is causing a nuisance by burning waste, you can register your complaint with your local council.