There's less than a month to go until families and friends will be heading out into the garden or off to public displays to see some amazing fireworks.
We are of course talking about Bonfire Night on Sunday November 5.
In the days leading up to the night, plenty of people will be wrapping up to head outside.
But whether you're hosting an event, going to a display or planning on holding your own little show in the garden, there are some rules you need to follow or you could get in trouble.
How much do you know about fireworks and when you are allowed to set them off? And what are the laws around bonfires?
Take a look at the rules and regulations surrounding Guy Fawkes Night, as reported by our sister site Chronicle Live.
Is it legal to have a bonfire on Guy Fawkes night?
There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause.
For example, they must not cause a nuisance to your neighbours and you must not allow the smoke to drift across roads and become a danger to traffic.
Also, you can’t burn household waste if it will cause pollution or harm people’s health.
So, as long as it’s not causing a nuisance, a bonfire is OK?
Yes. However, you might find fire brigades and councils advising you not to have a bonfire for safety reasons.
Fires can spread easily and can cause injuries. If you do decide to have one, here are some tips:
• build the bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees
• tell your neighbours so they can close windows or remove washing from clothes lines
• check there are no cables - like telephone wires - above it
• don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going – it may get out of control quickly
• keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies
• don’t leave the bonfire unattended
• keep children and pets away
• don’t throw any fireworks into the fire
• only burn dry material not damp, which causes more smoke
• don’t burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint - many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury
• a responsible adult should supervise the bonfire until it has burnt out
• once the bonfire has died down, spray the embers with water and make sure it is completely extinguished before leaving it
What do the authorities do if they come across a bonfire?
Firefighters have told us they judge each bonfire and decide if it’s causing any harm.
If a family is having a bonfire party privately that is not causing any nuisance, then no action is likely to be taken.
However if, for example, there’s a bonfire on some wasteland that’s emitting a lot of smoke, it would be classed as anti-social and the fire would be put out.
How late can I let fireworks off?
You can do this until midnight. Usually, we are not allowed to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, but the cut-off time on Bonfire Night is midnight.
And, in case you were wondering, the cut-off is 1am on New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year.
Can we buy fireworks all year round?
You can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use:
• from October 15 to November 10
• from December 26 to 31
• three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year
At other times you can only buy fireworks from licensed shops.
You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.
Do I need a licence to have a fireworks display?
No. No licence or permit is required in the UK, though a licence may be needed if you are planning to have a big event with a large number of people and elements such as music or alcohol, and only professionals are allowed to use certain types of fireworks.
The Health and Safety Executive says that if you are organising a major public event: "you will clearly need a robust and detailed approach to planning as well as professional involvement.
"If you are holding a local firework display, such as those organised by many sports clubs, schools or parish councils, you still need to plan responsibly, but the same level of detail is not necessary or expected."
There are more details here.
Aren’t there different categories for fireworks?
Yes. Category 2 and 3 ones are those available from our fireworks retailers and which are on sale to the general public. Category 4 ones are for professional use only and are extremely dangerous to the untrained.
Are there any safety tips for fireworks?
Lots. Here’s what the government says:
• Fireworks must only be handled and lit by responsible adults
• Alcohol and fire don’t mix – nor do alcohol and fireworks
• Keep fireworks in a closed box well away from bonfires or any other sources of heat or fire
• Follow the instructions on each firework. Different fireworks can present different hazards and so the instructions vary
• Use a torch if you read the instructions in the dark – do not use a naked flame
• Let fireworks off one at a time
• Do not throw fireworks – it is highly dangerous
• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper
• When you are watching fireworks, stand well back
• Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode
• Hold sparklers one at a time in gloved hands at arm’s length. When the sparkler goes out, it is still very hot so put it end down in a bucket of water
• Never leave matches or lighters lying around
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