Anna Bibby, 01 November 2019
Bonfire night is a British tradition that is enjoyed by many throughout the country and is also the perfect time to get together with loved ones and watch a stunning display of fireworks. While a lot of people prefer to head down to their local parks to enjoy a bonfire display, others prefer to do it in the privacy of their own home.
Although this is a great way to celebrate this long-standing tradition with your nearest and dearest, it can lead to a number of issues if it’s not handled properly, especially if you’re renting your home. This is why we have compiled this list of handy tips to make sure that your bonfire celebrations run smoothly and safely.
Check your tenancy
If you’re planning to throw a bonfire display at your home, you will need to check your tenancy or run it past your landlord before you make any solid plans. A lot of landlords aren’t comfortable with having open flames on their property and have clearly outlined this in the tenancy agreement. If there isn’t anything in the tenancy agreement that mentions bonfires or open flames, don’t assume that you can get away with having a bonfire display on the property - have a quick chat with your landlord and get confirmation from them to avoid any conflict. It’s important to respect your landlord’s wishes if they’re not happy about you having a bonfire, as they will have good reasons and will have everyone’s best interest at heart.
Check with your neighbours
Once you have cleared it with your landlord, it will also be a good idea to clear it with your neighbours as well. Not only is it good manners, it will be part of your tenancy agreement to not be a nuisance to your neighbours, so you need to make sure that they’re comfortable with you throwing a bonfire party. Chances are, they will be absolutely fine with it if it’s an occasional thing, but it’s better if they know in advance, especially if they have pets or small children.
Is your property suitable?
Ideally, you will need ample space in your property if you have a large group of people coming around, but it’s especially important with a bonfire display as there are a number of safety implications. Not only will you need to enough room to fit everyone, you will also need to make sure there is enough room in your garden for people to enjoy your bonfire and firework display from a safe distance. You will also need to check for anything like overhanging trees, telegraph poles or anything nearby that can pose as a threat around naked flames. If you’re not confident that it’s safe to throw a bonfire, it’s best not to take the risk.
Plan ahead for damages
Having a large group of people in your home can significantly increase the risk of damages to your property, so it’s important that you plan ahead. Make sure that carpets are protected from muddy shoes and the furniture is protected from scratches and breakages. It also might be wise for you to put aside a small budget to replace any damaged items that belongs to the property.
This should go without saying, but make sure you put safety first when celebrating bonfire night. Ensure that everyone is standing at a safe distance when lighting the bonfire and setting off fireworks, avoid drinking alcohol until the bonfire display is over and make sure that children are not playing too close to any open flames. It might be a good idea to have insurance in place in the unlikely event of a worse-case scenario. A simple online search will bring up a number of policies that will cover you for accidents.
Finally, enjoy your bonfire night and celebrate responsibly!
Need more advise on your responsibilities as a tenant? Why not download our tenant guide here!
Anna Bibby, 01 November 2019