Kent Fire & Rescue Service

Bonfires and fireworks

Picture of a bonfire

If you’re planning to have a bonfire, follow some simple safety tips to help you stay safe.

Building your bonfire

  • Build your bonfire well away from, and clear of, buildings, garden sheds, fences, hedges and overhanging branches
  • Keep it to a manageable size and evenly built, so that it collapses inwards as it burns


  • the bonfire’s construction is still sound before lighting it
  • there are no children or animals inside
  • no hazardous items such as aerosols and fireworks have been thrown onto it

Lighting your bonfire

  • It is dangerous to use flammable liquids to help start a bonfire
  • Do not burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries
  • Tell neighbouring properties you are going to have a bonfire to avoid non-essential 999 calls

Did you know?

Even if there are no flames, radiated heat alone can cause nearby plants or structures to catch fire, so please keep cooking well away from fences, foliage, and buildings.


  • Never leave bonfires unattended. KFRS recommends a bonfire should be supervised by an adult until it has burnt out.
  • Once you are finished with the bonfire, dampen it down fully with water making sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving
  • Keep a bucket of water or hosepipe nearby in case of an emergency.

What to do in an emergency

If the bonfire becomes out of control and catches foliage or property alight, call 999

If your clothes catch fire remember to:

  • Stop where you are
  • Drop to the ground
  • Roll around to put the fire out


  • Cool the burn or scald under cool running water for at least 20 minutes
  • Call for help, in an emergency call 999
  • Cover with loose cling film

(See our First Aid for burns and scalds page for useful information)

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