Fireworks are now readily available to purchase, not just for Bonfire night on 5th November but for celebrations at any time of the year.
In the last published NHS statistics regarding fireworks (2014/2015), there were 4,506 people who attended hospital with fireworks-related injuries, many of which were children.
Here are our top ten firework safety tips and also some sparkler safety tips that we hope you will find helpful:
1. Make sure you buy fireworks from reputable retailers. All instructions should be in English and fireworks should conform to British standard BS7114, which should be clearly written on the box
2. Consider attending an organised display, like Downend Round Table Fireworks, far fewer people are injured at professional displays
3. Keep fireworks in a closed box and use one at a time
4. Keep naked flames (including cigarettes) away from fireworks
5. Ensure spectators are located sufficiently well back, pay particular attention to the direction of rockets
6. Sparklers cause more injuries than fireworks and get five times hotter than cooking oil. Sparklers should only be used by the over 5’s, wear gloves when holding them, held at arm’s length when lighting and pop into a bucket of cold water when finished with. Some people like to put the sparkler in a carrot so it is easier for children to grip.
7. Never use paraffin, petrol or methylated spirits to start bonfires
8. Site bonfires away from shed’s and fences and check the wind direction before lighting
9. Visit ROSPA for more information and some great video clips on firework safety
10. Spare a thought for pets, its’ estimated nearly half the dogs in the UK are scared of fireworks, visit the RSPCA for some great advice on fireworks safety for pets. Where possible, keep pets indoors.
Please also take a moment to view this short video of ours. Sparklers cause significantly more injuries to children than fireworks themselves resulting in a significant number of burns. A sparkler can reach 2000 degrees, that’s more than 15 times the boiling point of water and will burn instantly on contact with skin.
A few points to remember:
- Do not drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
- Follow the instructions on each firework.
- Light at arm’s length, using a taper.
- Stand well back.
- Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it has not gone off, it could still explode.
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
- Always supervise children around fireworks.
- Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.