Bonfire Night Party
If you are planning to host your own party on Bonfire Night, follow a few simple safety rules to ensure that the party goes off with a bang – but no accidents!
Choose your fireworks with care
It can be tempting to buy the first fireworks that you see, particularly if they seem like a bargain. But make sure you buy them from a reputable retailer. Go to a shop you know, which should have a sticker displayed to show that it is allowed to sell fireworks.
Fireworks sold on market stalls may be cheap versions of the real thing. If they are badly made they may go off wrongly and cause injuries. All fireworks should have the safety code BS7114 marked on the box to ensure they reach British Safety Standards.
Pop up shops which just sell fireworks for a short time before Bonfire Night may not meet British Standards and their staff may not be knowledgeable about the use of products.
It is illegal for fireworks to be sold at a car boot sale, from a vehicle or from a private house.
What time is it?
The law says you must not let off fireworks or sparklers in the street, or between 11pm and 7am. The only exception is Bonfire Night, when you can let off fireworks until midnight, or New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when it is okay until 1am.
How to let off fireworks
Read the instructions on how to light each type of firework.
Make sure fireworks are securely fixed into the ground and cannot move around at all.
Use a taper to light fireworks and hold them at arm’s length. Never go back to a lit firework to see whether it is burning or not. It could explode and injure you.
Make sure everyone stands well back.
Never put an unlit firework in your pocket.
Don’t give sparklers to children under the age of five.
Have a first-aid kit on hand for dealing with burns. Never go back to a firework that has been lit. If a firework doesn’t go off, leave it for 20 minutes then drop into a bucket of cold water and make sure no one goes near it.
Keep a bucket of water nearby in case there are any sparks.
You also need a torch, to see what you’re doing while you light the fireworks, eye protection and gloves.
If you have a bonfire, build it well clear of buildings, sheds, fences and hedges and never leave it unattended.
Who’s in charge here?
Have one person in charge of letting off fireworks. They should also know where the first-aid kit is, and should stay sober, and preferably be able to drive.
Don’t mix pets and fireworks
Many pets in particularly dogs find fireworks very distressing. They should be kept indoors. For advice on how to look after your pet during a firework display, visit the RSPCA website.