Fireworks can be great fun for families, not just around November 5th (Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night), but also Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year. Injury figures support the advice that the safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display – far fewer people are injured here than at smaller family or private parties.
But if you’ll be having a firework party at home, you can make the occasion fun and safe for everyone by following the Firework Code, as well as some sparkler and bonfire safety tips.
- Fireworks must only be handled and lit by responsible adults;
- Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114;
- Stand well back;
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them;
- Always supervise children around fireworks;
- Keep pets indoors.
Animals can be terrified by fireworks. Warn your neighbours and any local farmers, stables and kennels etc in advance so they can keep pets indoors and take other necessary precautions.
- Don’t let off fireworks after 11pm;
- Alcohol and fire don’t mix – nor do alcohol and fireworks;
- Keep fireworks in a closed box well away from bonfires or any other sources of heat or fire;
- Follow the instructions on each firework. Different fireworks can present different hazards and so the instructions vary;
- Use a torch if you read the instructions in the dark – do not use a naked flame;
- Let fireworks off one at a time;
- Do not throw fireworks – it is highly dangerous;
- Light them at arm’s length, using a taper;
- When you are watching fireworks, stand well back;
- Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode;
- Hold sparklers one at a time in gloved hands at arm’s length. When the sparkler goes out, it is still very hot so put it end down in a bucket of water;
- Never leave matches or lighters lying around.
Sparklers are often viewed as being harmless, but they burn at fierce temperatures, equivalent to a welding torch. Follow these top tips for sparkler safety:
- It is recommended that sparklers are not given to under-5s;
- Make sure everyone handling sparklers wears gloves;
- Hold sparklers at arm’s length while being lit and light them one at a time;
- Don’t wave sparklers about close to other people;
- Never hold a baby in your arms while you are holding a sparkler;
- When the sparkler has finished put it in a bucket of cold water.
The Avensure Health & Safety team are happy to talk you through the health and safety procedures businesses need to have in place and how to start the process, so please contact us if you want to discuss your health and safety needs in more detail.
And remember, remember enjoy bonfire night safely and responsibly.