While bonfire night is hopefully a fun event for the whole family, without a bit of care and attention it can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Thieves, pets and accidents threaten to mar the celebrations, but we've got some words of advice to make sure your celebrations go off with the right sort of bang.
Protecting your home
Now the clocks have gone back, the extra hour of darkness is a dream for opportunistic thieves, particularly on Bonfire Night when they know most of us won't be at home. Confused.com says the average cost of a household burglary is £3,500.
Detective Superintendent Sean O'Callaghan of Essex Police says "It is important to remember that opportunists carry out most burglaries. As a resident you can make a few small changes to your property and your daily routine that can help to make your home safer, by putting would-be burglars off and making life very difficult for them."
Confused.com has some tips for protecting your home and preventing burglary:
- Keep valuables out of sight and keys out of reach from windows and doors
- Make sure windows, doors and gates are locked and secure
- Don't leave tools, bins or ladders in prominent positions
- Shut curtains and leave a few lights on a timer to give the appearance that someone is at home.
- Keep a close eye on children and ensure they are wearing appropriate clothing particularly near sparklers
- Ensure outside areas are well lit and there is sufficient space between the guests and fireworks
Peter Harrison, home insurance expert at MoneySupermarket.com, says: "For those hosting a fireworks party at home, it is essential to ensure your home insurance policy is up to date and that you have adequate personal liability cover. In the event of an accident such as someone getting burnt on the bonfire, you could find yourself liable for any injury or damage if you are not covered by insurance. In addition, you could find yourself facing a hefty payout."
Looking after your pets
And now some advice from Co-operative pet insurance on how to keep your furry friends calm on Bonfire Night:
- Before the evening, create a safe and comfortable environment for your pet.
- Walk your dog during the day in advance of Bonfire Night itself.
- On the night itself keep all pets inside, including those who normally live outside, such as rabbits.
- Make sure that all doors and windows are securely locked, so that no animals escape outside.
- Inside the house shut all curtains, play background music or have the TV on, which will both distract and reassure your pet.