Whether you are running a large firework display or having some family around for a small bonfire you need to make sure some procedures are followed to ensure everyone’s safety. This guide should help you pick up on some procedures you may have forgotten. Making sure bonfire night is enjoyable and safe for all involved.
How do I make bonfire night safe if I am running a display?
If you are an organiser of a bonfire and firework display you will need to take some considerable amount of thought on keeping people safe especially children, as this is a very exciting time of the year for them. Unfortunately, over half of all firework injuries are suffered by children, and the government have set up a Child Accident Prevention Trust on more guidance on keeping children safe.
Of course, if you are running a display you will have to acquire some fireworks. However, it’s extremely important not to cut corners just to save a small amount of money. All fireworks you buy must have BS 7114 written on the box meaning they conform to the British Safety Standards. We would advise not to buy from pop-up stalls or temporary shops since staff may not be the most knowledgeable about the usage of fireworks and they are less likely to meet the British Standard. Not every pop-up shop is bad, there are a few very good ones. We just suggest using extreme caution when picking your fireworks. One last thing to consider is whether the site you are using is a suitable size to run a display and there is enough space for fireworks to land well away from onlookers.
How do I make my bonfire display at home safe?
When organising a home bonfire display you should be wary of a few things when choosing where to situate your bonfire. Ensure the site is well away from garages, sheds, fencing, trees, shrubby and of course the house. When keeping everyone safe you should make sure everyone watching is well away from the display and all children are supervised by an adult. Did you know? Sparklers are 5 times hotter than burning oil which is why they should not be given to children under 5. When running the display one person should oversee setting them off this will avoid confusion between people trying to light fireworks at the same time. Make sure the instructions are read in daylight and the person in charge has not been drinking any alcohol until the display is over.
What preparations are needed for a bonfire and firework display at home?
Make sure that your preparations are made well in advance and are made in daylight. If you have not made any preparations and need a light on the night use a phone torch or a battery powered torch. NEVER USE A NAKED FLAME. On the night you will need:
- A torch
- A bucket or two of water
- Eye protection and gloves
- A bucket of soft soil to stand fireworks in
- A suitable support for Catherine wheels or rockets
Also, to prepare for the 5th November you should take precautions to protect your pets during this time of the year when fireworks are likely to be set off. This can be a big shock to animals and cause them to become very distressed. A distressed animal is also a lot more difficult to care for. Many families leave the family pet in the living room with food, water and the radio or television on loud. Hopefully drowning out any noise from the fireworks.
What are the laws on fireworks?
The 3 main areas of law on fireworks look at the age of who they can be sold too, how not to use them illegally and times displays, and homeowners need to be compliant with when using fireworks.
The legal age to buy fireworks is the same as alcohol you must be 18 years old to purchase fireworks, shops will ask for ID likewise as a pub or shop would. If you are under 18 and you’re found with fireworks that can only be sold to adults or have fireworks in public places, you could face an on the spot fine of £80.
Danger is a big hazard of bonfire night as you know, and laws have been set in place due to accidents or incidents over the past years. It is against the law to throw fireworks in the street or in other public places, especially in a vicious manner. Also, it is illegal to set off fireworks between 11 pm and 7 am, if you are found guilty for any of the two offences you could be fined up to £5,000 and can be imprisoned for 3 months and liable for an £80 on the spot fine.
Before you go complaining about your neighbours for using fireworks after a certain time there are some useful exceptions you should take note of. You can let off fireworks during celebrations of Bonfire Night until midnight and until 1 am, on New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year.
If you would like any more information call us here at Unique Fire Protection on 01922862207 or visit https://www.gov.uk/search?q=bonfire+night for some more tips and details on different elements of bonfire night.