BONFIRE NIGHT AND FIREWORKS SAFETY TIPS
These fire safety tips are brought to you from SOA Safety – the leading health and safety experts in the area. SOA Safety run fire safety training courses through out the year and more details can be found on their website or on their feature at thebestof. Click here for more details
Bonfires and fireworks are a fun way of celebrating Guy Fawkes night but every year hundreds ofchildren are taken to hospital after an accident
Public displays are often safer – and more spectacular - than parties at home.
If you are planning a home display, follow the safety tips below to make sure you have a safe celebration.
Make sure the fireworks you buy are meant for home use, are suitable for the size of your garden and are marked with British Standard number (BS 7114).
You will also need the following:
Before the display
Make sure you have read the instructions on your fireworks and have all the equipment you need ready.
If you are having a bonfire make sure it is well away from houses, trees, hedges, fences, sheds. Build it carefully so that it is not likely to topple over when lit. Use firelighters to get it going – never use petrol or paraffin even if it seems slow to start.
During the display
Choose one person to be responsible for your fireworks. That person should not drink any alcohol before or during the display
Supervise children and make sure they are standing well back from the fireworks
Light fireworks one at a time using a taper held at arm’s length. Remind yourself of instructions using a torch
Keep unused fireworks in a metal box with the lid closed.
Never return to a lit firework
Keep pets indoors and make sure all windows and doors are closed so they cannot get out
Do not smoke near unlit fireworks
Never put fireworks in pockets
Never run with fireworks
Make sure you know what to do in an emergency – that you know basic first aid for cooling and protecting a burn and that you have emergency numbers to hand.
Safety with sparklers
Sparklers are not suitable for children under five – they cannot understand how to use them safely
Wear gloves when holding sparklers and keep them at arm’s length away from the body
Children over five can safely hold sparklers but an adult should light them. Make sure children do not run with sparklers or wave them around near anyone else
As soon as a sparkler is finished plunge it hot end down into a bucket of water. Empty the bucket when you have finished – children can drown in just a few centimetres of water.
Never hold a baby or small child and a sparkler at the same time
First aid advice
Advice on first aid can be obtained from:
St John Ambulance. See www.sja.org.uk or call 08700 10 49 50
British Red Cross. See www.redcross.org.uk or call 020 7235 5454