Bonfire Night Safety
Bonfire Night is the perfect time to plan a party with your friends and neighbours. But every year more than 500 children are injured in accidents with fireworks and bonfires. Follow our simple safety rules to make sure your party goes off with the right kind of bang!
Choose fireworks with care
You may be tempted to buy cheaper fireworks which at this time of year are often sold on market stalls. Be careful as these can be badly made and cause injuries. Every year the emergency departments see people who have been injured by shoddy fireworks which go off unexpectedly or in the wrong direction. This is one of those times when quality really is important. Buy fireworks from a reputable supplier and make sure they have the British Standard Kitemark BS7114. When you get the fireworks home, keep them in a closed metal box.
Do your groundwork
Make sure fireworks are securely fixed into the ground and do not wobble around at all. Always read the instructions on how to light each different type of firework.
Make sure you have basic first-aid supplies for dealing with burns. It’s also sensible to have a bucket of water to hand in case you need to put out a fire quickly.
Light with caution
Take fireworks out of the box one at a time. Wear gloves and always light a firework at arm’s length using a long taper which you light separately. Don’t hold the firework while lighting and make sure there are no children standing nearby.
Never go back to a firework that you have already lit. Even if it appears to have gone out, it could still explode and cause injuries. Every year many accidents happen when a firework unexpectedly goes off. If the firework goes out after lighting, leave it for at least 20 minutes. Then drop it into a bucket of water.
Protect your pets
Pets, dogs in particular, may find the noise of fireworks very stressful so make sure they are kept safely indoors.
Wrap up warm
Remember that small children may find fireworks frightening too. Consider giving them ear muffs or ear protectors for the noise. Make sure everyone wraps up warm and dry for November weather.
Penny for the guy
If you are building a bonfire, choose an area away from trees or bushes. Make sure you are well clear of buildings, sheds and hedges. When the bonfire is lit, keep children and pets well back. Make sure the fire can’t spread and get out of control. Never use petrol to start a fire, this is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injuries.
Fireworks – the small print
It is against the law for anyone under the age of 18 to have fireworks in a public place so keep all fireworks well away from children.