How to have safe family fireworks at home

Everything you need to know about doing Bonfire Night fireworks at home

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If you’re creating your own firework display there are several different safety factors to consider, from where to buy them, how to safely set them off, to how to dispose of them.

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Fireworks come in several different categories and the general public can buy most fireworks under categories 1 to 3.

Always make sure the fireworks you purchase are suitable for the size of your garden or where you’re planning to use them.

RoSPA has released a top 10 tips guide on how to keep your children safe at firework displays on bonfire night:

10 safe things to do

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable.
  2. Keep fireworks 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.

What you’ll need

Wherever you are setting them off, always ensure one person is in charge and that all precautions are taken.  Read the instructions on the packaging several times so you are sure you know what to do.  On the night of the display you will need:

  • A torch
  • A bucket or two of water
  • Eye protection and gloves
  • A bucket of soft earth to put fireworks in
  • Suitable supports and launchers if you’re setting off Catherine Wheels or rockets

If your having an outdoor display in your garden, you should let your neighbours know so they can keep their pets inside, remember to also inform elderly neighbours and other families with small children, as loud noises will affect them the most.

Sky lanterns

Lit sky lanterns (also known as Chinese lanterns) are becoming increasingly popular but need to be treated with more care.

“RoSPA is receiving enquiries that raise concerns about the use of sky lanterns, including about fire and burns, injury to farm animals and false alarms that waste coastguards’ time. We advise that people consider their responsibilities in relation to these issues and that, if they decide to release such lanterns, they do so only after following all the operating and safety instructions. We also advise that only fully biodegradable lanterns are used. RoSPA does not recommend releasing lanterns near the coast,” said Philip Le Shirley, RoSPA’s product safety adviser.

How to dispose of used fireworks

Finally, you should always ensure you know how to safely dispose of fireworks:

  • Never put fireworks, even those which are fully spent, on the bonfire.
  • Never dispose of them by burying.
  • Put fully spent fireworks (but not misfired or partly spent fireworks) in refuse receptacles.
  • Soak misfired or partly spent fireworks in a container of water in an area where they cannot be tampered with (preferably away from the display site) and contact the manufacturer or supplier for advice on disposal.

Fireman Sam’s Special Safety Month

In time for bonfire night, children’s character Fireman Sam has launched a safety month and shared a set of fantastic videos featuring brilliant safety tips for children to watch. Take a look below – there are 10 in all featuring Sam himself (to watch all of them just click on the YouTube icon bottom right of the video).

Read more…

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