As we look forward to another excitement-filled Bonfire Night, it’s also a great time to brush up on the important safety advice that goes hand in hand with the November 5th celebration. According to welfare website Bonfire Night Safety, a recent year saw 990 injuries caused by fireworks in October and November – and 494 of those were children injured by sparklers and fireworks. Whether you have plans to host your own event or you’re attending a bonfire in your local community, take heed of the following tips to keep the fun safe this Bonfire Night.
Allow for plenty of space
If you’re building a bonfire at home, setting off a few fireworks on the drive or attending a busy display, always ensure you’re aware of your surroundings. Build bonfires away from your home and any surrounding fences and take care to leave plenty of space for guests to stand well away. You should also be sure to check for any hiding pets or wild animals underneath before you light the fire.
Take care with sparklers
They’ve long been a source of fun at this time of year, but children and adults alike should be aware of the dangers of sparklers and know how to use them safely. When handling a sparkler, always wear gloves and hold it at arm’s length at all times. Once the sparkler is spent, be sure to put it in a bucket of water to cool down. Don’t give sparklers to children under the age of five.
Avoid wearing loose clothing
Whenever you’re around naked flames throughout the Halloween and Bonfire Night period, make sure you’re wearing sensible clothing with no loose material. The same applies for children – and tying long hair back is also a good idea.
Be wise when choosing fireworks
If you’re hosting a display, make sure the fireworks you buy are the right type for home use and suitable for the size of your garden. They should also be marked with British Standard number BS 7114. Once you’ve got them home, the fireworks should be kept in a metal box and on the night, keep a torch with you for checking the instructions when lighting them. Never return to a firework once it’s been lit and always keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies.
Keep pets comfortable
Bonfire Night isn’t a favoured time of year for pets. What with all the loud bangs and other noises, they can often be found frightened and cowering behind furniture. Take measures to ensure the night goes by as stress-free as possible for them. Keep them indoors at all times – close all windows and doors and draw curtains to lessen the sound of explosions. If they are sitting frightened in a corner, don’t try to coax them out as this will only cause more upset.
Finish with a thorough clean up
Finally, once your guests have left, spend time wandering around the site and making doubly sure there aren’t any unlit fireworks lying around. Keep an eye on the dying bonfire until it’s fully extinguished – pour water on it instead of simply leaving it.