We’re getting closer to bonfire night and everyone at Castles & Coasts Housing Association (CCHA) would like residents to enjoy themselves safely.
An organised bonfire night event is always advised instead of holding one at home or in communal areas, as it’s much safer. Use a search engine, social media, or the local media to look for organised events near you.
Building and/or lighting a bonfire in any communal space or in your gardens at any time poses a high safety risk to you and your neighbours because:
- They can quickly get out of hand, especially in high winds
- The smoke can aggravate respiratory conditions and make symptoms worse
- Smoke can drift across roads and become a danger to traffic
- Depending on what’s being burned they can produce toxic fumes, and containers could explode, causing injury
They’re not only a danger, but they’re an eyesore and can attract anti-social behaviour too.
Did you know…?
- Bonfires are a form of fly-tipping because they’re made up of ‘dumped’ rubbish. Fly-tipping is a serious offence and carries a large fine, or even a prison sentence.
- Fly-tipping and littering in your area has cost CCHA £25,000. This diverts money away from essential services like improvements to kitchens and bathrooms in our homes.
- If you’re a Castles & Coasts tenant and build a bonfire in a communal space, you could be putting your tenancy at risk.
Again, an organised event is advised, but if you’re using fireworks at home you can make it safer for everyone by following these tips from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA):
- Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and check the time you can legally set off fireworks. Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks and the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used (and remember, alcohol and fireworks don't mix!)
- Only buy fireworks which carry the UKCA marks, keep your fireworks in a closed box, and use them one at a time
- Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if needed
- Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
- Never return to a firework once it has been lit
- Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
- Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
Sparklers are often viewed as being harmless but they burn at fierce temperatures, equivalent to a welding torch. Follow these tips for sparkler safety:
- It’s recommended not to give them to children under five
- Everyone handling sparklers should wear gloves
- Hold sparklers at arm’s length
- Don’t wave them about close to other people
- Never hold a baby in your arms while you’re holding a sparkler
- When a sparkler has finished, put it in a bucket of cold water
If you spot any fly tipping, including someone adding materials to a bonfire in a communal space, please report it straight away to either your local housing association, or via your local council. CCHA residents can contact our Customer Services team on 0800 085 1171.
For more home safety advice, visit www.rospa.com/home-safety