Bonfire events can be lots of fun. Traditionally, they probably go back eons to the time when man first discovered he could control fire. Then came hunting victory rites, wedding ceremonies, war dances, burning of books and heretics, school sports rallies and now, the bonfire you’re planning to highlight your celebration.
If you’re planning yours, make it as creative and thrilling as you choose, but it can be much more enjoyable when you will observe some basic bonfire tips.
1. Choose a theme. Consider what will make the bonfire most effective for those attending. Some ideas include celebrating autumn harvest, Halloween costume party, a sports win/pre-game rally dedicated to a local team, or the burning of the end of a local church’s mortgage.
2. Follow all local rules of fire safety. If required get local permission, do it and obey all the laws involved in putting on your event.
3. Double check all possibilities of what could go wrong, even though you are obeying the laws. Keep the fire far away from homes, shrubbery, forests and other vulnerable areas. If your fire will be a big one, with the potential of sending burning ashes a long distance, reduce the intensity.
4. Ask the local fire station for or assign a volunteer crew of stand-by firemen to attend and be on alert through the entire event. Depending on the size of your bonfire, they should be equipped with adequate hoses, water supply and other proper equipment to immediately fight any sign of an out-of-control flare-up.
5. Keep all children up to the age of about seven away from the fire area, unless escorted and hand-held by an adult.
6. Establish a limit to closeness to the fire for everyone at the event, and for more security, ring it with a wire fence no one is allowed to pass.
7. Watch closely for people, particularly teenagers, who may try to show off by getting too close to the fire. Once logs and other wood is in the bonfire, allow no one but qualified firefighters try to re-stack or move them.
8.When the event is over, make sure the bonfire is totally out. Then clean up the area to acceptable condition. If you’ve followed all the rules on fire safety, all participants will go home happy that they had an opportunity to participate in a traditional event that goes back to the moment when man first discovered fire.