Bonfire night, Diwali and Chinese New Year are all approaching, so many of us will be celebrating these festivities at home with bright lights, fireworks and for some, a warming garden bonfire. If you are celebrating at home, don’t let an oversight spoil your fun. At Mackenzie Smith, our suggestion is to be well-prepared for the risks these activities present, to keep your family and friends, as well as your worldly possessions safe.

Fire Safety

First and foremost, fire safety is an obvious concern, but not all the potential hazards present themselves until it is too late, so follow the below pointers to help ensure your home stays fire free!

• Light fires at a good distance from houses, outbuildings, trees, shrubs and fencing
• Have a designated person responsible for the bonfire
• Keep in mind strong winds which could affect the fire and any embers omitted from it
• Keep a bucket of water or a sandbag handy to suffocate potential fires
• Never douse the fire with paraffin or petrol
• Once the party is finished, douse the fire with water rather than letting it die out

Firework Safety

When using fireworks, there are a few safety elements you may wish to consider:

• Make sure your fireworks carry the CE mark
• It is generally safer to buy full firework packs rather than individual ones
• Only firework categories 2 and 3 should be used in a home environment
• Category 2 fireworks must be used at a distance of at least 8 metres from your audience
• Category 3 fireworks demand a spectator distance a minimum of 15 metres
• Store all fireworks fully boxed, in a cool dry place
• Always read the instructions in full before the action
• Light fireworks with a long taper at arm’s length
• Never return to a lit firework

Sparkler Safety

Obviously, children will need to be closely supervised throughout the night, as it is easy for them to get swept up in the excitement! However, there are particular issues you will want to consider whilst handling sparklers.

• Sparklers should only to be used by children over the age of 5
• Make sure everyone using sparklers wears fabric gloves
• Always light sparklers one at a time and at arm’s length
• Make sure children with long hair have it tied back out of the way  

Looking after pets

We are all familiar with the bonfire night mantra to keep our pets locked safely indoors, but before the fireworks begin, the following may help to keep your pet settled during the night.

• Feed animals earlier in the night before the noise starts
• Create a comfortable room for your pet to stay in with the curtains closed, perhaps turning up the television or some music to drown out the sound of fireworks
• Keep an eye on your pet in case they panic during the activities

The Dogs Trust website has more handy tips on how to take care of your dog during the festivities.


While these handy tips will all help, the most important thing to remember when hosting your bonfire festivities is to be organised and to keep calm should an incident occur.

Otherwise, best wishes for a brilliant bonfire night from all of us here at Mackenzie Smith.