Diwali - the festival of lights - is amongst the most significant festivals celebrated by Indians the world over.
Celebrating often involves prayers, family time, gifts, indulging in food and special treats and fireworks!
Shortly after Diwali, many of us will be celebrating Bonfire Night and may decide to light fireworks during Halloween too. With that in mind we wanted to remind you of how to be safe when lighting fireworks, sparklers and bonfires.
Firework and Bonfire Safety
At this time of the year we tend to see and hear more fireworks in the evenings. It is becoming quite popular to set off fireworks during Halloween parties, as well as on more expected occasions this season, such as; Bonfire Night, Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year. Though fireworks and bonfires can be exciting and enjoyable, when the safety measures involving using them are not followed, there can be serious and at times life threatening accidents. Sadly lots of these accidents involve children. Keep reading as we have provided, some links for you to look at for information and outlined some of the key points to remember, to help you enjoy fireworks and bonfires safely this season.
POINTS TO REMEMBER ABOUT FIREWORK SAFETY:
- Only buy fireworks that carry the CE or UKCA labels and look like they’ve not been tampered with. Some shops and supermarkets no longer sell fireworks because of the risks of harm. However you can search online for local firework display events near you, instead of buying your own.
- Plan displays safely – make sure fireworks are lit as per instructions, away from people, especially away from children and pets/animals who are unable to respond to dangerous situations as quickly as adults.
- Keep pets inside, provide them with plenty of extra bedding/padding. Some people find weighted blankets useful and you can put the radio or TV on for them for background noise too.
- Light fireworks away from you (about arm’s length away), light them one at a time and ensure they are not stored in a flammable container, such as a cardboard box.
- DO NOT RETURN to fireworks that have already been lit!
- Use a torch to read the instructions or to see what you are doing NOT a match or lighter!
- Do not smoke near fireworks or leave fireworks near fires.
- Do not throw fireworks or sparklers, in the street, towards people and pets/animals, or on fires or in the air — even if you think they are spent.
- Do not keep fireworks in your pockets.
- Wear gloves when lighting and using sparklers and light them one at a time.
- Be respectful and remember that you MUST NOT set off fireworks between 11pm-7am, you can be fined and prosecuted! The exception to this rule is; on Bonfire night when you can light them till midnight and New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am.
- Spent firework cases must be gathered—make sure you look for used fireworks with a torch, not a match or lighter, douse them with water and use tongs or some other suitable tools if you need to or wear strong gloves. Don’t allow any children to collect firework cases.
- If any fireworks look as if they haven’t gone off after at least half an hour, douse them in a bucket of water & ask the Fire and Rescue Service for advice
POINTS TO REMEMBER ABOUT BONFIRE SAFETY:
- Plan your Bonfires — make sure they are set up away from fireworks and other flammable items as well as buildings and trees and that you have buckets of water nearby to douse the bonfires out.
- Make sure there are no children or animals/pets hiding in the bonfire before you start.
- Don’t use flammable liquids like paraffin or petrol on your fires and don’t burn dangerous rubbish (e.g. aerosols, paint tins or foam-filled furniture) as these can cause explosions and the fires can get out of control!
- Never put fireworks or sparklers on a bonfire, even if they’re dud.
- Don’t leave fires unattended & make sure the fire is completely out before leaving it.
Take a look at the following links for more information:
https://www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law — for more information about fireworks and the law
https://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/fireworks-safety and https://capt.org.uk/firework-safety/ — firework/bonfire safety from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
https://www.britishfireworksassociation.co.uk/firework-advice-for-consumers/ — firework safety with a video for children from the British Firework Association . The video is on YouTube too, or watch it below directly:
https://www.fireservice.co.uk/safety/bonfires/ – Fire Service UK site Bonfire safety information