Event safety guide for event organisers

Last updated: 25 January 2022

9. Fireworks and bonfire events


It is against the law under the Highways Act 1980 to allow smoke to drift onto a highway or motorway.

Fire can spread quickly so you should choose your bonfire site carefully away from any roads, motorways, railways, buildings, trees, fences etc.

You should not:

  • burn anything that is damp, as this creates thick smoke
  • leave the fire unattended
  • leave the fire to smoulder for long periods
  • burn anything made of plastic, rubber or glass
  • burn household waste, treated or painted manufactured wood, mattresses, metal, aerosols, anything containing paint or foam

Firework displays

When organising a firework display you should use a competent firework display organiser who conforms to the Health & Safety Executive guidelines.

You also need to carry out a proper fire risk assessment of the event to ensure the safety of those attending.

Bonfire and firework display guidance