Fire service issues safety advice ahead of Halloween and Bonfire Night

“The Children’s Burns Trust predicts that around 500 people will be injured due to firework-related incidents across the nation this year"


Release date: 26 October 2023

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to be aware of hidden fire risks when celebrating the holidays this Autumn.

The best line of defence against a fire-related incident in your home is to attend an organised firework display and use battery-operated tea lights for Halloween decorations. If that is not possible, please make sure to follow our advice:

Halloween safety advice:

  • Keep candles/naked flames out the path of trick or treaters
  • Use battery powered tea lights instead of candles
  • Buy costumes from reputable suppliers and ensure they have a UKCA or CE mark
  • While wearing costumes, stay away from open fires/wood burners/ovens as they’re highly flammable
  • When trick or treating, cross the roads safely (i.e. not between parked cars or on bends) as your spooky costumes will make it harder for drivers to see you. 
  • Teach children to stop, drop and roll.

Nathan Cross, Head of Prevention, said: “The Children’s Burns Trust predicts that around 500 people will be injured due to firework-related incidents across the nation this year, with most injuries affecting the eyes, head or hands.

“During recent years it has also been vastly documented that Halloween costumes can be highly flammable and must bear a CE or UKCA mark.

“If you or your loved one suffers a burn, you should cool the burn under cold running water for at least 20 minutes, then cover it with cling film or a clean plastic bag and call 999 if necessary. Please always seek medical advice for a baby or child that has been burned.”

Firework/bonfire safety advice:

  • Only buy fireworks that carry a CE mark and store them safely in a closed box
  • Never throw fireworks or put them in your pocket
  • Always read the instructions
  • Always light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper, and then stand well back
  • Keep naked flames away from fireworks, including cigarettes
  • Don’t leave bonfires unattended or use petrol/paraffin to light them
  • Don’t light bonfires next to sheds, fences or combustible materials.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, added: “Halloween and Bonfire Night are times for families, and particularly children, to have fun. It’s important that these holidays remain a fun time for all, so we would urge all parents and guardians to familiarise themselves with the Firework Safety Code ahead of the celebrations.”

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