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Sparkle safely this bonfire night

Bonfire parties may look a little different this year – but the hazards are the same.

bonfire in dark

Our safety experts here at WPD are urging anyone who is planning bonfire celebrations to keep fireworks and bonfires away from power lines and substations – and always to plan their event in daylight to make sure they stay well away from electrical hazards.

Many people may not realise that electricity can jump gaps, which is why it’s always a good idea to keep a safe distance from electrical equipment, particularly when lighting bonfires or fireworks.

WPD Health and Safety Adviser Eddie Cochrane said: “Bonfire night celebrations will be on a much smaller scale this year because of coronavirus restrictions but that doesn’t mean the safety message is any different.

“It is vital that people are aware of the dangers posed by electrical equipment when they’re planning bonfires and fireworks. On a windy night, flames and sparks can easily be blown onto overhead power lines and may cause power cuts or electrical surges.”

If a member of the public becomes aware of any damage to electrical apparatus or believes an item has gone into a substation, they should keep well clear and call 105.

Top tips to stay safe on bonfire night:

  1. Try to plan bonfire celebrations in advance, preferably in daylight, when electrical hazards are more visible;
  2. Do not light bonfires under, or close to, power lines. Smoke and heat from bonfires can damage power lines and cause power cuts or electrical surges, as well as posing a danger to anyone nearby;
  3. Remember the wind can blow flames and sparks onto overhead power lines so always keep bonfires and fireworks well away from electrical equipment;
  4. Electricity can jump gaps – so always keep a safe distance;
  5. Look out, look up – and enjoy bonfire night!
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