Be Safe, not Sorry – Follow the Firework Code!

Childrens screenCleveland Fire Brigade is urging those planning to celebrate bonfire night over the coming weeks to ‘Be Safe, Not Sorry’. Every year people are injured and property is damaged due to the misuse of fireworks and illegal bonfires.

The safest way to enjoy bonfire night is by attending an organised display rather than having one at home. However, if you decide to buy fireworks, you should buy them from licensed premises and always follow the firework code:

  • Buy fireworks which comply with the British Standard (BS7114)
  • Only people aged 18 or over can legally purchase fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Only adults should set fireworks off
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light all fireworks at arms-length
  • Stand well back
  • Always supervise children around fireworks and sparklers
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Never go back to a lit firework
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket
  • Never throw fireworks
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Don’t let off fireworks after 11pm

Steve McCarten, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s District Manager for Stockton and Hartlepool, said: “Every year, over half of firework and bonfire – related injuries involve children under the age of 15.

“The most common injuries are to the hand, wrists and eyes and most of these are caused by sparklers which is not surprising as they burn at over 2000oC. I would urge parents to follow the sparkler safety tips below to help keep everyone safe this year.”

  • Never give sparklers to a child under 5 years of age
  • Ensure children are supervised by an adult
  • Always wear gloves when holding a sparkler
  • Hold them at arms-length, but not near anyone else
  • Use one sparkler at a time
  • When finished put the hot end down in a bucket of deep water

“We want everyone to enjoy their bonfire night so please heed our advice to ‘Be Safe, Not Sorry.”

You can report illegal firework sales to Trading Standards on:

  • Stockton-on-Tees: 01642 526560
  • Middlesbrough: 01642 728223
  • Redcar and Cleveland: 01287 774774
  • Hartlepool: 01429 523361

You can find out more information about bonfire and firework safety at, or follow us on Twitter (@clevelandfb) or Facebook (/clevelandfb).

Organised displays are to be held as follows:

  • Wednesday 5 November, Seaton Carew Front, Hartlepool, 4.30pm onwards, display starts at 6.30pm
  • Wednesday 5 November, Stockton Riverside, 6pm onwards, display starts at 7.30pm