Bonfire Night & Fire Safety

Remember, remember, the fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot
We see no reason
Why Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot ….

Tomorrow is the 5th November – Bonfire Night.  But why do we celebrate on the 5th with bonfires, fireworks and sparklers.

Bonfire Night commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot which was hatched in November 1605 by a gang of Guy FawkesRoman Catholic protesters.

The reason they felt the need to hatch such a plot was because Catholics had hoped that when Protestant King James I began his reign, the persecution they had suffered for over 45 years during the time of Queen Elizabeth’s, reign would finally come to an end.  This didn’t happen and the Gunpowder Plot was hatched to assassinate the King and his ministers by blowing up the Palace of Westminster during the state opening of Parliament.

Guy (Guido) Fawkes and his fellow plotters rented a house near to the Houses of Parliament and somehow managed to smuggle 36 barrels of gunpowder into a cellar under the House of Lords.

Guy Fawkes was the explosive’s expert and was left in the cellar to set off the fuse.  But, at the very last moment, he was caught and the plot was foiled when a group of guards going about their duties checked the cellars.

Ironically, the cellar where Fawkes was found no longer exists because in 1834 it was destroyed in a fire which also ravaged the Houses of Parliament.

Stay safe this Bonfire Night by following the Fireworks Code:

  1. Plan your firework display carefully to make it not only safe but enjoyable.
  2. Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time.Fireworks
  3. Remember to have a torch handy to read and follow the instructions on each firework.
  4. Light each firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.
  5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
  6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
  7. Don’t put fireworks in your pockets and never throw them.
  8. Direct any rockets well away from spectators.
  9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
  10. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.
  11. And, last but by no means least, keep your pets safe indoors on Bonfire Night