Not only should you remember the 5th of November, but you must also make sure you stay safe whatever you find yourself doing this bonfire night. Whether you’re planning a little get-together with family and friends or going to see a big display, it’s a fun yet dangerous evening.
NHS statistics show that over 4,500 people visited A&E between 2014 and 2015 because of a firework-related injury. These commonly occur at private events where trained volunteers are not on hand to help, with accidents often involving children being injured by sparklers.
Care, consideration and preparation are sometimes all that is needed to avoid accidents, and that’s why it’s a good idea to leave the drinking until after the firework fun.
Here are a few bonfire safety tips.
Light Fireworks Safely
Fireworks are incredibly dangerous so it is important to be very careful and only to let the adults handle and light them. Before you even start, ensure there are no flammable materials in close proximity to the firework, that everyone is clear from the area, it’s in an open area, and that it conforms to British Standard 7114 (or its EU equivalent).
It’s a good idea to ensure you’re ready should things not go to plan, with a small powder fire extinguisher. Quick action can stop a small fire from escalating, reducing risk to life and damage to property. When lighting the firework, wear gloves to prevent burns.
Once the firework has been lighted, make sure you swiftly walk away and don’t return to the area until it has gone off. When the spectacle is over and it’s time to clear up the mess, storing them in a bucket of water.
When the contents are fully cooled, and the night is over, the fireworks can then go in the bin.
Children love sparklers, as do we adults. Whatever your age, anyone holding a sparkler should wear gloves, as they can reach temperatures of 2,000°C which is twenty times hotter than the boiling point of water.
They should be held at arm’s length away from the body, outside, with children never left unsupervised with one. Once you’ve had your fun and finished drawing your name, spent sparklers should go in either a bucket of water or sand until they’re completely cooled.
It’s a good idea to have a first aid kit close by as well, as quick action on a burn or any other injury can reduce its seriousness. Should anyone suffer a burn, you should cool the area immediately by immersing it in cold water, and then protect the burn with a sterile bandage.
Location is important whether you’re lighting fireworks or building a bonfire. You need to find somewhere safe that is open and not too windy. Ideally, this needs to be at least eighteen metres away from buildings, fences, hedges and trees.
When constructing your bonfire, use dry and clean wood, and before lighting, make sure no little woodland creatures have crawled in and made it their home. Also, resist the temptation to add hazardous materials or flammable liquids; it’ll burn perfectly fine with just natural materials.
Again, before lighting, have a fire extinguisher or hosepipe to hand and ready to operate at the first signs of something going wrong.
Once lit, don’t leave it unattended as it is surprising how quickly a fire can spread, keeping children and pets well away. And when you’ve finished, make sure to fully extinguish the fire using water before retiring for the night.
We hope your event goes off without a hitch and is an awesome spectacle.