As the evenings draw in, and the nights become colder, the traditional pastime of burning Guy Fawkes on the bonfire fast approaches. Firefighters and news reporters warn us of the dangers associated with bonfires, warn us to keep pets indoors and provide instructions on how we can ensure that we stay safe during this time of year.
Despite all of these warnings, a large number of house fires and personal injuries still occur as a result of people’s failure to ensure they’re safe, and to plan for the safety of others.
Top tips to stay safe this bonfire night
- Most importantly, do not consume alcohol prior to lighting the bonfire or fireworks. This could potentially lead to fatalities, caused by losing your footing and falling into the burning wood.
- Make sure you build, and light the bonfire a good distance away from your house. It is advisable to build the bonfire on soil, as opposed to grass as this would not catch fire as quickly. If you only have a small garden, or you are worried about your safety, it is recommended that you attend an organised event.
- Don’t put fuel on the fire! You do not know how quickly this fuel could burn, and potentially could make the bonfire burn out of control. Only burn wood and paper products.
- Make sure you keep warm! This is not only important for your body temperature, but by wearing a coat, it protects you from any flying embers.
- If using a sparkler, make sure you wear gloves. The sparkler burns quicker than what you may imagine.
- Only light one firework at a time. When purchasing fireworks, do not buy them from your local corner shop! You need to ensure that they are marked BS7114 or EN15947. This is advice from firefighters, to ensure that the fireworks comply with all the safety requirements.
- When lighting a firework, make sure you do so at arm’s length. Never return to a lit firework, even if it has not released, as it may still explode.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of a bonfire incident, then get in touch with our specialist team on 01616 966 229.
By Jessica Sharrock, graduate paralegal in the personal injury department.