Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

Bonfire Safety Advice

The following safety advice, provided by NIFRS should be applied for anyone building or attending bonfires:

  • Site the bonfire well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs;
  • As a guide allow a ratio of 1:5, i.e. the distance from the bonfire to the nearest property should be 5 times the height of the bonfire;
  • Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse;
  • Never build a hut or den inside the bonfire;
  • Do not burn foam filled furniture, tyres, aerosols, tins of paint or bottles;
  • Responsible adults should look after lighting the bonfire.  Before lighting the fire check that no children or pets are hiding inside it;
  • Never use flammable liquids (petrol or paraffin) to light the fire – use domestic firelighters;
  • Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children who must be supervised at all times;
  • For an emergency keep buckets of water, a garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready;
  • At any sign of danger or in the event of an emergency ring Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service on 999 for assistance.


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