Be Safe Not Sorry this Fireworks Night

With many organised events cancelled, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are preparing for a busier night than usual as people plan to celebrate in their own gardens. We are asking people not to take risks, putting additional pressures on our emergency services.  We are asking everyone to please be safe and not sorry this Fireworks night.

Last year, between October and November we attended 531 deliberate fires – a 21% increase since 2019. We’d like to keep this number decreasing as attending firework and bonfire misuse incidents can cost lifesaving minutes in our firefighters getting to other emergencies. Fireworks and bonfires can be extremely dangerous if not managed and handled correctly. Please don’t put your loved ones or local community at risk, fires can spread and become out of control in a matter of seconds, risking damage to property, injury and even death.

Fireworks can frighten people and animals, after all, fireworks are explosives. Tell your neighbours if you’re a planning on letting off fireworks and avoid purchasing really noisy ones. Fireworks can cause a great deal of distress to animals. In a recent survey, 62% of dog owners reported their pets showing signs of distress during fireworks season, with 54% of cat owners experiencing the same.

RSPCA Campaigns Manager, Carrie Stones added: “Public safety is so important around Guy Fawkes Night – but animal welfare considerations are key too, and we’re delighted to work with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to raise awareness of this.

This time of year can be very stressful for animals. Fortunately, there’s so many steps pet owners can take to mitigate risks.

Preparedness is really important, and our website is full of advice for pet owners on how to help their animals through firework season, whether this is by building a safe den, finding hiding places for cats or closing windows and curtains to help soundproof against the noise.

We’re urging anyone having a fireworks display in the South Wales area to communicate with residents in their vicinity; to help pet owners prepare. Before the cheer, consider their fear – and help keep animals safe at this time of year.

Information from the public is so important in our campaign for more responsible use of fireworks – so we also encourage anyone struggling this season with the negative impact of fireworks to share their experiences via our incident reporting form.”

Remember that fireworks are explosives, and as such should be treated with respect and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Firework Code.

  • Make sure all fireworks comply with approved standards and regulations.
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions carefully when using them.
  • Light them at arm’s length using a taper and stand well back.
  • Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
  • Never throw fireworks and never put them in your pocket.
  • Respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws to follow.
  • Take care with sparklers – never give them to children under five.
  • Even when they have gone out they are still hot so put sparklers in a bucket of water after use.
  • Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening.

Bonfires can also be a significant fire risk and we advise that residents refrain from having fires in gardens, and be considerate of any neighbours. We also do not advise anyone to burn garden or household waste. Please store it for when you can use your local authority waste, recycling and composting services. Further information is available on our website. Please also refer to Government guidance .

Head of Community Safety and Partnerships, Group Manager Dean Loader said: “This time of year is always fun and we want to make sure that everyone can enjoy the celebrations safely. Our message is simple – be sensible and look after yourselves and each other so that you don’t require our services during your evening. We attend many unsupervised fires and injuries caused by fireworks and out of control bonfires. Fireworks are a lot of fun but it’s very important to be cautious and to enjoy the celebrations responsibly. Acting irresponsibly around fires and fireworks can have devastating consequences, can cause life threatening injuries and can even cost lives.”

Injuries can be prevented by following the Firework code. If you do suffer a burn, ensure you:-

  • Cool the burn under cold running water for at least ten minutes.
  • After the burn has been cooled, cover it with cling film or a clean plastic bag.
  • Call 999 if necessary. Always seek medical advice for a baby or child that has been burned.

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to your safety.  Be safe and not sorry and follow the advice below;


Pumpkins are a staple of the Halloween season, and carving one can be fun. Despite traditionally containing candles to light up their frightening expression, we recommend switching to battery operated lights as a safer option.

Lanterns and Pumpkins

Halloween is a great occasion to dress your home with all sorts of spooky decorations. Many homes use candles in their decorations to enhance the eerie atmosphere.  We would always recommend that you use battery operated lights in the first instance but if you choose to use candles, it’s important to be wary of where they are situated and the other decorations around it. Candles should be isolated enough so that they don’t pose any danger, so make sure other decorations or hanging parts are kept away from the naked flames.

Candle Safety

Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire – like curtains. Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night. Use a snuffer or a spoon to put out candles, it’s safer than blowing them out as sparks can fly. Remember, children should never be left alone with lit candles.


Be wary of the materials used in Halloween costumes. Synthetic materials are much more flammable than natural materials, so keep an eye out for costumes containing cotton, silk or wool. These materials will be more resistant to fire and give yourself more time to act if a fire does occur.

For more advice and guidance please visit: