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Bonfire Night 2020

Bonfire Night is fast approaching. But where there is fire, there will be smoke, and this can play havoc with asthma and respiratory allergy.  Due to national Covid-19 restrictions, there won't be any parties or gatherings this year, but you may be planning to have fireworks or a bonfire in the garden with your household. 

If you’re living with a respiratory allergy or asthma, it doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate Bonfire Night. With some imagination and thought, you can keep smoke exposure to a minimum whilst enjoying the festivities.  

If you’re planning a bonfire in your garden, please keep harmful pollutants to a minimum by following the Environment Agencies bonfire guidelines and your local council’s recommendations.  


Most councils suggest the following:  

  • Only burn dry material  
  • Never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres, or anything containing plastic, foam or paint  
  • Never use old engine oil, meths or petrol to light the fire or to encourage it  
  • Avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions – smoke hangs in the air on damp, still days and in the evening. A fresh, windy day is the better, as the smoke will disperse more easily  
  • Never leave the fire unattended or let it smoulder, douse it with water if necessary  


Smoke is difficult to contain, so to reduce smoke exposure from outside in your home, make sure you keep your windows closed. Being outside in a smoky atmosphere can also cause harmful particles to cling onto clothes, hair and skin, so having a good shower when you get indoors will prevent you breathing them in during the night.  


Holding an alternative Bonfire Night party with your household could be just as fun and keep smoke exposure to a minimum. You can find lots of ideas online, but here are some of our favourites:  

  • Replace sparklers with glow sticks  
  • Get some glow in the dark paint and encourage the children to paint large sheets of paper. Or if you’re brave enough, the garden walls!  
  • Hang solar lights or lanterns around your garden to add colour and atmosphere  
  • Dress up! Think of Bonfire Night themes and have a celebration with your household  

Whatever and however you decide to celebrate we hope you have fun and stay safe. 

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