Stay safe in Rugby this Bonfire Night
20th October 2011
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One of the most enjoyable nights of the year is almost upon us as Bonfire Night approaches. Treacle Toffee, baked potatoes and plenty of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as back gardens and large outdoor organisations alike hold their own displays large and small.

Whilst more and more people are beginning to opt for the professional displays, the traditional evening of back garden bangs is still popular.

So if you are planning on running an evening for your family in or around Rugby, ensure that you follow these simple yet essential rules. You might have seen the firework code many times in the past, but with about 1,000 serious injuries needing hospital treatment every year, it’s always worth reminding yourself.

Keep fireworks in a closed box

You might have a bonfire, you might be using a match to light the fireworks, or just the fireworks themselves – there is a lot of fire and sparks around on November 5th. Keeping your fireworks in a sealed metal tin will prevent any unwanted ignition, as well as keeping them away from pets or children.

Follow the instructions on each firework

It might seem simple, and easy to ignore, but fireworks do work in different ways. Make sure you read the information – with a torch, not a match or a lighter before you light the blue touch paper.

Light all fireworks at arm's length

It’s rare, but sometimes the blue touch paper doesn’t give you the few seconds you expected. Just ask yourself - if that firework you are lighting goes off with you still there, do you want to be leaning over it, or just risking some slight charring on your glove?

Stand well back

Some fireworks might shoot straight up, some shower a few square meters with sparks. And you might not have secured one well enough. Make sure you are far enough away to avoid any errant sparks - you’ll still be able to enjoy the show.

Never go back to a lit firework

Just as sometimes they could go off quickly, it might take longer than you thought. It’s not rocket science to see that leaning over, peering into the top to see what’s going on is a ‘bad idea’.

Never put fireworks in your pocket

Fireworks are filled with various chemicals and metals which burn in the bright colours you want to see, but you wouldn’t appreciate a phosphorus coating on your treacle toffee. Fireworks can leak, which could lead to you standing near a bonfire in jeans laced with gunpowder, even if you don’t end up eating something contaminated.

Never throw fireworks

Another double danger. When you throw a firework you don’t know how it will land or where it will spray the sparks and flame. And you never know just how long the fuse will take. Is it worth losing a couple of fingers when it goes off in your hand? Don’t take the risk.

Keep pets indoors

Dogs, cats and other pets don’t know about Guy Fawkes, so they won’t understand why outdoors sounds like World War Three. Keep them indoors to prevent them being unduly distressed. And the poisonous elements you find in fireworks are just as dangerous if chewed by your dog finding a spent rocket.

Just as on planes they request that even ‘seasoned travellers’ reacquaint themselves with the emergency procedures before take-off, it does no harm for people who have had fireworks for years to just take care to remember the safety tips.

Fireworks are fun, but they are also very dangerous – so be careful and follow the code.

And of course the alternative for people who don’t want to run their own private display is to attend one of the many professional events in and around Rugby, which thebestof Rugby has recently blogged about.

See our Events Listings for your nearest bonfire event.
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