Fireworks can be great fun for friends and families, but some celebrations still end with injuries for too many people, including children
Over the next few months, it’s Guy Fawkes Night, Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year. Despite annual safety warnings, firework celebrations still end with injuries for too many people, including children.
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.
Fireworks and the law
It’s illegal for the public to set fireworks off before 6pm and after 11pm in the evening, but extends to midnight on the 5 November, 1am on New Years Eve, Chinese New ear and Diwali.
If you prefer a firework party at home, you can make the occasion fun and safe for everyone by following these safety tips:
- Plan your firework party to make it safe and enjoyable
- Check the time you can legally set off fireworks
- Only buy fireworks which carry the CE or UKCA marks
- Keep your fireworks in a closed box, and use them one at a time
- Follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
- Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
- Never return to a firework once it has been lit
- Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
- Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
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 not to give sparklers to under-5s
- Make sure children 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
- When the sparkler has finished put it in a bucket of cold water
This year’s hot and dry summer has caused numerous uncontrolled fires to spread quickly through dry grass and vegetation on both open land and across gardens. It’s essential you consider if starting a bonfire this year is a risk worth taking.
- Choose a site away from wooden fences, sheds and where children play
- One person should be responsible for bonfire safety
- Never use petrol or paraffin on a bonfire - fire lighters are a safe alternative
- Keep a bucket of water on hand
- Avoid loose clothing and tie back long hair
- After the party, pour water on the fire, rather than leaving it to burn out