Having fireworks at home can be great fun, as long as they are used safely. Figures show more children rather than adults get hurt by fireworks. Over the past few years over 350 pre-school children, some only a year old, were treated in hospital for fireworks injuries. As Halloween is right around the corner MCL want to give everyone some safety tips when it comes to using and buying fireworks and sparklers!
So out top tips for safety safety are…
1)Be safe not sorry
Fireworks are safe if you use them properly. If you’re putting on a home display, you should follow some simple steps to make sure that everyone has a good time without getting hurt.
2)Keep kids safe
We want children to enjoy fireworks but they need to know that they can be dangerous if they are not used properly. Each year, over half of all firework injuries are suffered by children. The Child Accident Prevention Trust have more guidance on keeping kids safe
3)Read the instructions
Please ensure you read any fireworks safety guidelines or firework safety warnings on the packaging of your fireworks before setting up your fireworks display, as they will offer advice on how to use and set off safely. Each firework will have its own safety requirements, for example the set up for a rocket will be different to a cake or barrage. We recommend reading the fireworks instructions early to avoid any rushing when setting up your firework display.
4)Be aware of your surroundings
Each firework will come with a minimum safety distance, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that this is the recommended distance away from ALL OBJECTS, not just the crowd. Yes, your fireworks may be 25m away from your spectators, but are they also 25m away from other things which may cause a hazard? Also ensure that any overhead obstructions are also avoided. Please carefully consider the area where you will set off your fireworks, as the fireworks safety distance available may impact the size or category of fireworks you should buy.
5)Setting them off
Only one person should be in charge of fireworks. If that’s you, then make sure you take all the necessary precautions. Read the instructions in daylight and don’t drink any alcohol until they’ve all been discharged. Make your preparations in advance, and in daylight.
On the night, you will need:
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.
6)Pets often get very frightened by fireworks, – so watch out for them too. You might want to keep all your pets indoors and close all the curtains.
7)Where to buy
Don’t cut corners just to save a few pounds. Always buy fireworks from a reputable shop to make sure that they conform to British Standards. This means that they should have BS 7114 written on the box. Sometimes shops open up for a short time before Halloween night but these may not be the best places to buy fireworks from. Staff in these shops might not be very knowledgeable about using fireworks safely and their fireworks might not meet British Standards. Whatever you do, don’t buy fireworks from anywhere you’re not sure about, such as the back of a van or from a temporary, unlicensed market stall.
Did you know that sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil? Sparklers are not toys and should never be given to a child under five.When it comes to Sparkler safety remember..
Never put them in your pocket
Never pick one up off the floor
Make sure an adult is always present
Light them one at a time
Hold them at arm’s length
When it goes out, put the hot end in a bucket of water. Otherwise it could still burn you.
We hope these tips will help you stay safe over this Halloween period and if you have any worries the NIFRS have some great safety tips on their site!