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Bonfire bonanza

By TheStudentGuide
Bonfire bonanza

Fed up of paying extortionate prices to attend a bonfire night with ancient fairground rides, boring radio DJs and a fireworks display that lasts a lousy ten minutes? Maybe you find yourself uttering the words, ‘Was that it?’ on your way home every year. Then why not ditch the big commercial events and host your own bonfire party! All you need is a backyard of some sort and a bit of imagination (and some friends would be useful…)

Building a bonfire

There’s more to it than wood and sticks:

First of all, make sure that your chosen spot is clear of anything than can catch fire- buildings, people, the neighbour’s garden.
Collect a bunch of dry sticks. If you’re garden has been overrun for some time this shouldn’t be a problem. Ash or maple wood is the best type to use.

It’s a good idea to make sure the bonfire is self-contained so try and get a hold of some logs to surround it.
Build the bonfire up in a pyramid shape. Make sure that it’s built evenly, none of this lop-sided business.
Don’t put anything hazardous on the fire, even if the dustbin men have refused to collect your rubbish this week. Neither is it the time to take revenge on your ex’s possessions.

Some handy tips to remember:

It isn’t illegal to build a bonfire but under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990, a statutory nuisance includes ‘smoke, fumes or gases emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance’.

Check the weather and avoid lighting a bonfire if it’s going to be windy

Never use engine oil, meths or petrol to light a bonfire. Use a domestic lighter instead, such as a newspaper torch.

If you’re having fireworks, make sure you light them before as the bonfire might set them off early. Also, it is illegal to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, with the exception of 5th November, when you can light fireworks until midnight.


To stop you guests raiding your cupboards when you’re not looking have these to hand:

  • Toffee apples- apple bobbing fun and games
  • Treacle Toffee- funny how you never notice you’ve gone through a whole pack till you start to feel sick
  • Marshmallows- for toasting, and great if you want to steal a romantic moment with someone
  • If you really want to push the boat out you could get the burgers and hot dogs on the go but you know that they’ll all be gone within the first fifteen minutes


Those finishing touches:

  • Glowsticks- in case you get lost
  • Sparklers- because they’re old skool, cheaper and in the hands of students, generally safer to use
  • A home made Guy Fawkes- just stuff some old clothes with newspaper. Don’t use your housemate’s rag doll she’s had since she was five.
  • A bucket of water to hand- just in case

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