What does the pandemic mean for fireworks night this year?
With organised fireworks displays cancelled due to pandemic restrictions, the risk of serious injuries is greater than ever this year. It’s a combination of more people holding displays at home, often for the very first time, and the availability of discounted fireworks produced for cancelled events.
The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) offer our top tips for buying fireworks safely and organising a safe display at home.
Fireworks – buy safe, stay safe
With organised fireworks displays cancelled this year, many families will be considering their own display. If you are sure this is for you, it’s important to know how to buy and use fireworks safely.
Know your categories
Fireworks are split into four categories:
- Category 1 are indoor fireworks.
- Category 2 fireworks are suited to family back gardens.
- Category 3 fireworks require a minimum safety distance of 25 meters – far bigger than the average family back garden! While non-professionals can buy them, they are designed for large displays.
- Category 4 are for professional use only.
Top tips for buying safely
- Go to reputable retailers and avoid pop-up shops.
- Only buy fireworks marked with safety standards (EN 15947 or BS 7114).
- When buying online, look for companies who offer helpful advice about what category of firework to buy. If the seller doesn’t list fireworks categories, find one who does.
- Take care buying from online marketplaces. They are not responsible for the safety of the products they sell.
- Category 2 fireworks are the safest for normal family back gardens.
Tips for your fireworks display
- Supervise children. Have a marker, like a rope, for the children to stand behind at a safe distance from the display.
- If the children are dressing up, make sure the costumes have a CE mark and keep them away from flames, sparklers and fireworks.
- Store fireworks in a metal box until you are ready to use them.
- Use a torch – rather than a naked flame – to read the instructions.
- To light a firework, hold it at arm’s length and light it with a taper or firework lighter.
- Don’t go back to a firework once it has been lit. Sometimes they can be very slow to get started and may take you by surprise.
- It’s best to be fully in control when you’re lighting fireworks. Avoiding alcohol until you’ve set them all off is the safest option.
- Never throw spent fireworks onto a bonfire.
- The safest place for a bonfire is at least 18 metres (60 ft) away from the house and surrounding trees and hedges, fences or sheds.
- When you’re clearing up spent fireworks after the display, make sure anyone who is helping uses tongs or gloves to avoid burning themselves.
Keep in touch for more safety tips www.facebook.com/ChildAccidentPreventionTrust