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Posted by Katie oGrady

Staying Safe with Fireworks

It’s that time of year when fireworks will be lighting up the skies up and down the country.  Fireworks can be great fun for families, not just around November 5th (Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night), but also Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year.  There are some fantastic local displays celebrating Guy Fawkes Night, from Cassiobury Park – Watford, Bushey Sports Club – Bushey and Byron Park – Harrow, to name a few.  Having an evening at home or at a friend’s house is a popular to way to spend a night enjoying pops, bangs and lit skies.  Whether you are at a display or at home there are safety measures that should be followed to ensure you and your children are safe and know exactly what to do if they do get lost amongst the crowds at a display.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents website has published safety advice – The Firework Code.  Follow these tips for a safer fireworks party:

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  • Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  • Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  • Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Sparklers are a great addition to any party / display and are often viewed as harmless fun however, they burn at high temperatures.  Follow these tips for sparkler safety:

  • It is recommended that sparklers are not given to under 5’s
  • Make sure everyone handling sparklers wears gloves
  • Hold sparklers at arm’s length while being lit
  • Don’t wave sparklers about close to other people
  • Never hold a baby in your arms while you are holding a sparkler
  • When the sparkler has finished put it in a bucket of cold water.

If you’re taking children to a display ensure they are wearing bright colours and they know your mobile number or have it written down inside their pocket.  Ensure they know to stand still if they get separated from you and understand you will find them or simply assign a meeting place.

Remember to stay safe and have fun.