There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause.

You cannot get rid of household waste if it will cause pollution or harm people’s health. This includes burning it.

You can get rid of household or garden waste by composting or recycling it.

You could be fined if you light a fire and allow the smoke to drift across the road and become a danger to traffic.

Complain about a neighbour’s bonfire

Your council can issue an ‘abatement notice’ if a neighbour’s bonfire is causing a nuisance. A bonfire must happen frequently to be considered a nuisance.

Your neighbour can be fined up to £5,000 if they don’t follow the rules of the notice.

Bonfire Safety Advice

  • Choose a site away from wooden fences, sheds and where children will be playing
  • Never use flammable liquids like paraffin or petrol to get it going as this can result in uncontrolled spread of fire or explosion
  • Check immediately before lighting that there’s no animal or even a young child hidden inside
  • Don’t burn dangerous rubbish (e.g. aerosols, paint tins or foam-filled furniture)
  • The bonfire needs to be put out completely
  • Keep a bucket of water handy in case of an accident
  • Avoid loose clothing and tie back long hair
  • When you have finished pour water on the fire, rather than leaving it to burn out.