Fireworks are an important part of one the most exciting nights of the year for families throughout the UK. Many of us up and down the country will be braving the elements tonight or this coming weekend to see public displays or create our own at home.
Remember: fireworks are explosives. It is important to keep safe during these events, especially where children can be involved; as they often are. Last year there were nearly 1,000 injuries caused by fireworks and half of these involved children.
Firefighters all over the country are gearing up for a busy weekend; Legally, there are is only one main rule that you must follow. Fireworks cannot be purchased by (or on behalf of) under 18s.
Fireworks are fun for all ages but precautions should always be taken, even the smallest rockets can travel at speeds of 150mph. To safely set off fireworks:
- Prepare a bucket of water and leave close by
- Stand the firework as instructed on the packaging, ideally in a bucket of sand
- Make sure that there are no flammable materials nearby
- Warn people in the area before lighting
- Light the fuse at arm’s length and quickly walk away from the area
- NEVER go back towards a lit firework
- Enjoy the show and discard the used firework in the water bucket
Sparklers are involved in over 50% of accidents during Bonfire night and children are often the ones injured. They may seem fairly harmless but if three sparklers burn together, the heat will reach the same temperature as an industrial blowtorch. To reduce risk of injury:
- Make sure all children handling sparklers are over 5 and are supervised at all times.
- Ensure everyone is wearing gloves.
- Find somewhere safe and open with little wind.
- Light only one sparkler at a time; hold it horizontally, away from the body.
- Discard in a bucket of water and never touch the end, even after use
Anyone with pets will understand how distressed they can get during Bonfire Night, they do not understand the loud noises and often sense danger, causing them to instinctively run away and hide.
- Keep them inside for the night, make sure dogs have been for a walk in the daytime
- Close all curtains and windows and turn on the TV to distract from the noise
- Do not try to drag a hiding pet from under furniture, it will only scare them further
- Make sure pets are microchipped, in case they run away
Bonfires are an integral but often dangerous part of the festivities. Make sure to:
- Set up the bonfire at least 60ft away from buildings, trees and bushes
- Check a bonfire for animals and pets before lighting
- Never use petrol, paraffin or other flammables
- Stand a safe distance from the fire
- Keep a bucket of water nearby