‘Stay alert, don’t get hurt’ this Halloween and Firework period

As Halloween and Bonfire Night approach, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) is preparing for a busy time, aiming to make South Wales safer by reducing risk during this hazardous period.

Between October and November 2022, SWFRS saw the number of incidents they were called to attend due to fireworks doubled from the previous year. The risks around bonfires and fireworks are well known, and the Service promotes its key messages around safety and wellbeing every year in partnership with South Wales Police and Gwent Police. This year, the prevailing message is to “stay alert, don’t get hurt” during the Halloween and firework season.

Arson Reduction Team Manager at SWFRS, Mike Hill, said:

Every year, we attend incidents where members of the public are injured by fireworks and bonfires. We ask everyone, where possible, to attend organised displays that have safety measures in place.”


Organised displays

Firefighters and local authorities are holding organised firework displays for 2023, to make sure you can enjoy firework night safely.

Here are a few of the organised displays SWFRS are supporting this year:

Blaenau Gwent

  • Ebbw Vale Fire and Rescue Station will be supporting an organised Firework display at Eugene Cross Park on Sunday 5 November 2023, with gates opening from 6:30pm. For more information, click here.


  • Whitchurch Fire and Rescue Station will be hosting their own organised display on Sunday 5 November 2023, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. For more information, click here.

Rhondda Cynon Taf

  • Ferndale Fire and Rescue Station will be supporting an organised Firework display at Ferndale Community School on Friday 3 November 2023.
  • Gilfach Goch Fire and Rescue Station will be supporting an organised Firework display at Hendreforgan Playing Field on Sunday 5 November 2023. For more information, click here.


Head of Community Safety and Partnerships, Group Manager Bleddyn Jones, said:

“This time of year is always a busy time for our Firefighters. Setting off fireworks at home poses significant risk, therefore we will always encourage the public to attend a professionally organised display.

“If you do choose to have your own display, please do so carefully, take extreme care, and follow the firework code.

“Our message is simple – be sensible and look after yourselves, and consider your neighbours and any animals that are nearby.  We attend many unsupervised fires, and see many injuries caused by fireworks and out of control bonfires. Fireworks are nice to watch, but it’s very important to be cautious, and enjoy the celebrations responsibly. We cannot stress enough that acting irresponsibly around fires and fireworks can have devastating consequences, and cause life threatening injuries.”


If you are deciding to have fireworks at home, please follow the below steps to ensure safety for you and those around you:

  • 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 fireworks at arm’s length using a taper, and stand well back.
  • Never go back to fireworks 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.
  • Take care with sparklers – never give them to children under five.
  • Even when sparklers they have gone out, they are still hot – so put them in a bucket of water after use.
  • Keep your pets indoors whilst fireworks are going off.

Animal wellbeing

A recent survey carried out by the RSPCA showed that among pet owners, 63% reported signs of distress in their animals during the firework period.

The RSPCA received 11,000 responses to its firework incident reporting survey in 2021 – 68% of these reports came from members of the public whose animals had been impacted by private at-home displays, and 94% of respondents to our 2021 impact survey did not have prior notice of firework displays within their locality.

19% of reports received about animals in distress were because of antisocial behaviour.

The RSPCA has been running its #BangOutOfOrder campaign for many years, which calls for more control over fireworks displays.

For more general tips for animal wellbeing this firework season, please visit the RSPCA website


Safety tips during Halloween

Each year, our Service works in partnership with South Wales Police (SWP) and Gwent Police (GP) to ensure your safety during the Halloween and fireworks period.


South Wales Police Sergeant, Andy Jones, said:

“We are once again working with partners to prevent firework-related disorder and other forms of anti-social behaviour.

“Assaults, anti-social behaviour and arson are clearly unacceptable, and could see offenders jailed or fined. We are urging our communities to celebrate safely and behave in a responsible way.

“There will be increased patrols in place across ASB hotspots, and we urge members of the public not to suffer in silence; contact us if you need help.”


If anyone would like to report concerns for anti-social behaviour, you can do so in one of the following ways:

🗪 Live Chat https://www.south-wales.police.uk/

💻 Report online https://www.south-wales.police.uk/ro/report

📧 Email swp101@south-wales.police.uk

📞 101 or always call 999 in an emergency.


Other fire safety tips during Halloween

  • 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.
  • 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 any 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.
  • Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire – like curtains. Put candles out completely when you leave the room. 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 likely to catch fire.