Fireworks displays are always a spectacle. But it’s important to also remember that they can be particularly destructive when it comes to the accidental fire damage it can do to peoples’ property and contents.
Acting responsibly when having a bonfire and setting off fireworks is an important part of staging an event. Make sure there are no overhanging branches or fences when you’re lighting a bonfire and it’s not too close to your property, especially garages, where flammable materials may be stored.
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it is an offence to burn any substance that will release harmful fumes causing pollution to the environment or harm to human health – these include plastics, rubber, or timber that has been painted. So make sure exactly what is piled on your bonfire stack.
The person in charge of staging the event will need to make sure the fire is contained and does not escape, to cause damage or injury to people or property. It’s an offence, for example, if anyone on a public road is ‘injured, interrupted or endangered’ by fire or smoke from your bonfire or fireworks display. This also applies to anyone simply having a bonfire in their garden, to burn timber or leaves, as well as events on Bonfire Night.
After the event
Once the display is over, embers of a bonfire can remain hot for many hours after an event, so make sure that they aren’t allowed to ignite anything in the early hours – on a windy night for example, the remaining hot ash could be blown around and away from the site of the event. There is also no way of making sure that spent fireworks don’t land on a roof after they have exploded. It’s a rare occurrence, but if you’re having a display in a built-up area, they could start a fire when they fall to earth. There was a prominent case in the news in 2019 where a couple in Grimsby lost their home, which suffered £50,000 of damage due to a stray rocket.
Be considerate too if you’re going to have a bonfire. Think of the neighbours and make sure any flames or heat are far enough from their property too. If a neighbour’s bonfire burns your fence or damages your property, then your neighbour could be liable for the damage caused to the fence. If it is your neighbour’s fault, they should claim on their insurance, but you can’t force them to do this. It’s usual however to get an insurance company involved to settle any costs that may be involving in righting the matter, as someone will have to reimburse you for damage that wasn’t your fault.
Fire damage experts
If you have to deal with the aftermath of fire damage, we can help. The Forshaw Group understands the need for effective restoration and offers a common-sense approach to treatment and repair. We are specialists in tacking fire damage to property and offer a full restoration service. As well as having to deal with widespread fire and smoke damage, there could also be considerable water damage and flooding, from efforts to put out the fire. Our experts have specialist fire and water damage restoration training and experience. We can quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. We can also remove any smoke odour and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpets.
Time is critical and environmental control can make all the difference in saving valuables, such as electronics, valuables or stock. Our technicians, surveyors and project managers have the most up-to-date equipment, resources and technology at their disposal. Our fire-related services include Emergency 24-Hour Response, Building and Contents Restoration, Contents Cleaning, Smoke Odour Removal, PAT Testing of electrical items, Removal of soot and smoke, cleaning of items affected by smoke and reinstatement.
Whatever your requirements, contact us so that we can respond quickly and offer you a comprehensive, professional and reliable service at a time that is already very stressful for those affected.
It’s wonderful to enjoy fireworks displays and bonfires, but remember, remember to be careful this Bonfire Night.