Bonfire Night

Bonfire night gathering with sparklers

In danger of becoming eclipsed by Halloween, Bonfire Night is a very English commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot.

Many people feel inclined to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals, restricting themselves - and their kids - to the comparatively tame pleasures of sparklers.

But if you're going to eschew the laid-on entertainment of professional displays, and feel inclined to recapture those thrilling November evenings of childhood, follow a few simple rules.

Top Tips for Bonfire Night

  • Remember that fireworks are noisy. Warn your neighbours - especially if they are pet-owners - and preferably invite them to firework parties.
  • Don't position bonfires upwind of neighbours' houses and don't let any pyromaniacs loose on getting the fire started.
  • Prepare your fireworks carefully (eg nail the Catherine wheels to a tree, position the rockets in flowerbeds etc.) well before the guests arrive.
  • Ensure that there is a safe buffer zone between fireworks and guests, especially small children.
  • Lay on plenty of sparklers; they'll keep kids busy during hiatuses in the display - but do keep an eye on the kids and ensure that spent sparklers are disposed of quickly and safely; glowing sticks can pose a safety threat.
  • Keep the firework display contained to a certain timeframe (e.g. 7.30-8pm). Sporadic bursts punctuating the evening may irritate neighbours, disappoint guests and disrupt the flow of the evening.
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