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Celebrate Safely this Halloween and Bonfire Night

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is encouraging people to stay safe when celebrating Halloween and Bonfire Night this year.

Nicola Smith, Prevention Manager for RBFRS says: “We want our community to enjoy upcoming Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations, whilst taking some extra care.

“Please be mindful of open flame candles this Halloween; especially when wearing costumes and when young children are around. The safest option for decorations is using flameless candles instead.

“Fireworks are also extremely dangerous and can cause life-threatening injuries. Try to attend an official firework display if you can. However, if you do plan on setting off your own fireworks, ensure you are buying them from licensed retailers and always handle with care by following the safety instructions.”

Please follow the guidance below for safe celebrations.


  • When purchasing costumes and masks, make sure that they are labelled as flame-resistant.
  • Do not use flammable materials to make homemade costumes.
  • Keep children away from naked flames at all times.
  • If your clothing does catch fire, remember to stop, drop and roll to smother the flames.
  • Always place candles in a proper holder on a stable, heat-resistant surface
  • Consider using flameless candles – either LED, battery-operated or electronic.
  • Decorations can burn easily – don’t attach them to lights or heaters.


  • Always follow the Firework Code.
  • Only buy your fireworks from licensed retailers – look for a CE mark.
  • Adhere to the fireworks curfew – do not set off fireworks after midnight.
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
  • Follow the instructions exactly – read the safety instructions carefully before setting off the fireworks. Once the debris has cooled down, tidy it up and soak in water overnight before putting it in a rubbish bag in the bin.
  • Understand what fireworks you can use at home – Category F1, F2 and F3 fireworks are on sale to the public. A consumer firework will fall into either category F2 or F3 depending on how much of a safety distance it requires. Check you have enough space to safely use a firework before you buy it. Category information can be found on the label.
  • Be considerate to animals when letting off fireworks – if you plan to let off any fireworks, let your neighbours know in advance so that they can care for pets.
  • Stand well back and always supervise children.
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves – never give sparklers to children under five years old.


We are asking residents to consider if they need to have a bonfire. Bonfires can easily become out of control and cause problems for individuals with respiratory problems and put additional pressure on emergency services. If you are having a bonfire, please stay safe by following this advice:

  • Build bonfires well away from buildings, fences and trees.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby.
  • Never burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint – many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode causing injuries.
  • Do not use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going as it could quickly get out of control.
  • Never leave bonfires unattended.

For more safety advice, visit our Celebrating Safely webpages.