Bonfires - General guidance

raging bonfire against grey sky and silhouette of trees


  • Do let your nearest neighbours know before you light your bonfire
  • Do burn material in small amounts
  • Do consider using an incinerator rather than an open bonfire
  • Do choose the location of your bonfire carefully and have a spade, fork or hose pipe ready in case you need to extinguish the bonfire quickly
  • Do be aware that other residents may also have regular bonfires. Although you may only have one a month, if each resident did this it could result in a bonfire nearly every day which could be unreasonable. Therefore it's important to communicate with your neighbours
  • Do use alternative methods: recycle items, use the local household waste recycling centres
  • Do consider shredding instead of burning as a suitable safeguard against identity fraud
  • Do only have bonfires as a last resort after recycling and re-using have been considered


  • Do not burn damp grass cuttings or other damp garden waste as this will produce thick smoke
  • Do not burn oily rags, rubber, plastics, foam, car tyres and so on as these will give rise to black toxic smoke
  • Do not light a bonfire when neighbours have hung their washing out or are enjoying their gardens. Be considerate
  • Do not leave a bonfire unattended. Never leave a bonfire once it is alight
  • Do not light a bonfire if the wind is blowing in the direction of your nearest neighbour. Only light a bonfire if the wind is blowing away from your neighbours
  • Do not allow your bonfire to smoulder for long periods of time, especially overnight. Ensure that you rake over ashes to ensure the bonfire is extinguished
  • Do not light a bonfire if the smoke could drift across a street or highway so as to cause danger to traffic (enforced by the police)