Expert Bonfire Night Safety Tips

bonfire night

With Bonfire night fast approaching a team of gardening experts have issued safety guidelines so families can enjoy bonfire fun without disaster.

To maximise family fun and safety, the team behind Garden Buildings Direct have offered their insight into how to make the most of private Bonfire Night celebrations.

Many families are familiar with festive fireworks, but private bonfires are also becoming more common in gardens up and down the country.

Bonfire night rules

From where and how to build a safe bonfire to preventing avoidable accidents, planning and preparation are key to enhancing Bonfire Night entertainment.

  • A desirable spot for a bonfire should be sheltered from the wind and far away from any obstacles such as fences, sheds or trees.
  • A stable ‘teepee’ of light wood, on a bed of tinder (twigs and grass), in a shallow pit is the ideal construction for a family bonfire, with gaps left for oxygen to ventilate the flames.
  • To light the fire and get the party started, it is recommended to check for animals hiding inside and then simply drop a match into the centre of the bonfire.
  • Never use flammable liquids or throw anything items in with the organic materials. In particular, avoid paraffin or petrol, aerosols, bottles, tins or furniture.
  • Once the bonfire is lit everyone, especially children, should remain at a safe distance and there must be water on hand (either buckets or a hose) in case it gets out of control.
  • It is also important, once the fire has died and the party is finished, to douse and bury the embers.

A spokesman from said: “A private bonfire can really make your garden stand out from the neighbours’ parties, but things can easily go wrong if you are inexperienced. As with any outdoor project, the foundations are crucial. Digging a pit of a few inches, and slightly wider than your intended bonfire, will contain the flames. This must be sheltered from the wind and located away from any buildings, plants or trees, and especially any wooden fences or sheds, which could accidentally catch fire too.


A bonfire should be carefully constructed in the shape of a teepee, to make sure it doesn’t fall over and ruin your garden.


“Please remember to check for hedgehogs before lighting a match. Shrubbery will help get the larger logs burning, but don’t be tempted by flammable liquids such as paraffin or petrol. They are dangerous accelerants and should never be used on bonfires. The temptation to throw cans of deodorant, bottles of beer or anything else onto the bonfire should also always be avoided. I would recommend keeping a source of water or fire extinguisher close by, in case of any emergency.”

Want to get your garden a firepit? Try our Firepit guide 

Karlie Simmonds

Karlie has worked in Digital Media for over 10 years, she is passionate about health and wellbeing and lives in Edinburgh with her partner, children, and Pug, Poppy.