Everyone loves a good Bonfire Night celebration – Guy Fawkes on November 5th is a highlight of the autumn. But to make yours go with a bang and sparkle this year, it’s important to keep safety in mind from the outset.
Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) show that public displays tend to be much safer places for enjoying fireworks, with fewer injuries than at private gatherings. But if you're organising something yourself, here are our top safety tips and hacks.
These are clearly a key part of any occasion marking Bonfire Night, and are fun and beautiful to look at. But they’re far from being harmless, and can burn as hot as a welding torch. So be sparkler savvy!
No child younger than five should be given a sparkler. Older kids should be supervised and ought to wear gloves, and hold the sparklers at arm’s length. Don’t try and hold a small child or baby at the same time as twirling a sparkler. Sparklers can be placed in a bucket of water once they’ve burnt out.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Bonfire Night without them. But you need to follow the safety drill.
Check the packet carefully before buying fireworks – your garden needs to be big enough to meet the ‘clearance distance’ advised. Also check for the safety standards BS 7114 label while you’re still in the shop.
Bear in mind that loud bangs can potentially damage youngsters’ hearing, so consider investing in some ear plugs or defenders. (The potentially massive and loud blasts are another reason for making sure you only use fireworks designed for the size of space you have available.)
Other basic, common-sense measures include following instructions for setting off bangers properly, not being responsible for setting off fireworks if you’re also enjoying an alcoholic drink or two, and never throwing fireworks or thinking it’s OK to pop one in your pocket. Keep them in a closed, secure box until you use them, and then follow the instructions carefully. Using a taper, light your bangers from an arm’s length distance. Supervise the kids, keep pets inside at all times, and maintain a viewing area that keeps everyone safely away.
Equally, do not go anywhere near a lit firework, even one which hasn’t gone off, as it may still explode.
Finally, let the neighbours know what you’re doing. Invite them over if you can, and don’t let off fireworks after 11pm.
Before lighting the bonfire, check there are no hedgehogs or other creatures in the pile of wood.
Small children may not have seen such a big fire before, so watch that they’re not drawn too near the flames. Try and burn only dry material to minimise smoke. Again, keep everyone well back and safe, and have buckets of water on hand just in case.
Enjoy Bonfire Night!
If you keep a few key tips in mind, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a fun and safe family night. It certainly doesn’t have to be boring.
With things like scarves, gloves and hats taken off and put on again and perhaps passed around on occasions like this, it’s worth labelling everything in case stuff gets mixed up. At Attach A Tag, we can help!