Organising a Bonfire Party

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Find out when your local firework display is, or why not organise your own party!

Bonfire Night is the perfect time plan an evening with your neighbours or the local community.

You can start building the bonfire a few days beforehand. Choose a sheltered area away from trees or bushes. For the best fire, which won't spread and get out of control, dig out a shallow area of turf or soil, and arrange a circle of stones or bricks around the edge. Fill the centre with newspaper or twigs, then a layer of larger sticks, then a layer of logs or wood, leaving air spaces. You can cover it with a tarpaulin until it's time to light the fire. Never use petrol to start a fire, this is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injuries.

Choosing Fireworks

There is a huge choice of fireworks nowadays. However they can be very expensive. Club together with your neighbours or concentrate on having a few dramatic rockets to let off.

Cakes are what used to be called Roman candles. They are also called single-ignition boxes or barrages. Several fireworks are taped together and you only need to light one fuse, which sets off the fireworks one by one.

Girandola are wheel-life fireworks that spin rapidly into the air. Sometimes they have a high-pitched whistle.

Mines are similar to cakes but don't last very long.

Rockets vary in height and there are many different kinds and colours to choose from.

And don't forget the sparklers which children love, and so do most adults - who doesn't like writing their name in the dark!

Firework Safety

Fireworks sold on market stalls can be badly made and may cause injuries. It's best to buy fireworks from a reputable supplier and check they have the safety code BS7114 on the box. Read the instructions on how to light each different type of firework.

Make sure fireworks are securely fixed into the ground and do not wobble around at all.

Keep a bucket of water nearby.

Have a first-aid kit on hand for dealing with burns. Never go back to a firework that has been lit. If any part of the firework doesn't go off, leave it for 20 minutes then drop into a bucket of cold water and make sure no one goes near it.

On the Night

Make sure everyone is wearing warm clothes including gloves. Very small children may find fireworks very scary. Headphones or ear muffs protect them from the noise. Pets, in particular dogs, sometimes hate fireworks so make sure they are safely indoors.

Food and Drink

Keep food simple, like mugs of hot soup, hot dogs and burgers, marshmallows cooked on the bonfire, bowls of nuts and crisps, and hot chocolate. Check out our ideas in the Recipes section for some great Bonfire Night recipes!

Be safe! Remember, always light fireworks at arm's length, and never go back to a lit firework!

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