November is here, and with it comes the date none of us will ever be able to forget, thanks to a certain rhyme…
Yes, 5th November – Guy Fawkes Night – is imminent, so it’s time to make sure you have all the ingredients at hand to make the perfect bonfire. But where do you start?
Building a bonfire
When building a bonfire, you should start by digging a shallow pit. After surrounding the pit with garden rocks or bricks, you can place charcoal briquettes in the centre. You should then make a teepee shape out of light tinder, following this with small kindling (at 45-degree angles), leaving gaps so oxygen can circulate. It’s essential that all your fuel is completely dry.
On either side of this teepee structure, put medium-sized sticks, and build up the kindling in several layers. Space any large logs evenly around the base. After that, make sure some thin, long pieces of kindling touch the top and base, and tie these together using twine to keep the shape. Once the fire is lit, you can carefully add more wood to keep it going.
When building and lighting a bonfire, safety always has to come first. Make sure the site is far away from any buildings, fences, trees, plants, waste and other obstructions. A useful guideline is that it should be at least five times its height away from the property. It also should be sheltered from gusts of wind.
When lighting the fire, use a match dropped into the middle or a firelighter – never use petrol, methylated spirits or oil. And, it should go without saying, keep children and pets away from the fire at all times.
Ensure you don’t place any potentially flammable items (such as aerosols and paint cans), toxic items (such as tyres) or fireworks on your fire. If you’re in any doubt at all, don’t place it on the fire. You should have a fire extinguisher and a bucket of water or hose on hand at all times just in case.
This Guy Fawkes Night, keep warm, eat treacle toffee, and have fun!