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Staying safe on Bonfire Night

View profile for Sarah Masters
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Stay safe this bonfire night

Bonfire Night is upon us and many are excited to see the return of some organised professional firework displays. People are urged to “think twice” before hosting their own Bonfire Night displays after NHS Digital figures show that at least 3,591 people attended A&E in England with a firework-related injury over the Halloween and Bonfire months between 2015 and 2019. The Bonfire Night period is a notoriously busy period of the UK’s fire and rescue services.

The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend an organised professional display.

Sadly, the Children’s Burns Trust predict that this year 500 children and their families will join the growing number of people who will remember Bonfire Night for the wrong reasons. They will have been injured as a result of an accident with fireworks.

Staying safe

Only adults should set up fireworks, light them and safely dispose of them once they have been used. It is also important to remember that alcohol and fireworks are not a good mix! Children and young people should also be supervised and everyone should make sure they watch fireworks from a safe distance.

The Firework Code by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) recommends you follow these top 10 tips for a safe Bonfire Night:

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and check the time you can legally set off fireworks
  2. Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time
  3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  4. Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
  5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  7. Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  10. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Sparklers can often be seen as a relatively harmless way of allowing very young children to participate in the excitement of Bonfire Night but a sparkler can reach temperatures of 20 times the boiling point of water. It is recommended that sparklers are never given to children under the age of 5. Older children with sparklers should wear gloves, hold the sparkler at arm’s length and always have a bucket of water nearby to put the used sparklers in – hot end down.

Remember, remember to stay safe and have fun this Bonfire Night!