Bonfire season is a mesmerising and exciting time for many families who enjoy the loud sounds and marvel at the bold and bright colours which are displayed across the night skies.
In all the excitement of lighting a bonfire, or igniting fireworks, it is always crucial to first remember some key safety tips. This doesn’t mean that the level of fun has to be reduced, just an important reminder to stay safe. By following the guidelines which are available, you can be guaranteed safe and friendly fun.
There is reason to be aware of safety advice during this season, statistics indicate that over 550 children are taken to A&E over the four weeks either side of Bonfire night, demonstrating just how crucial it can be to remember the old adage of ‘safety first’.
One thing to consider is the impact fireworks can have on family pets. Household pets, which are often well mannered and show no signs of distress, can be frightened by the loud noises and strange surroundings. Ensure all pets are kept inside and away from children.
Be careful with young babies or children who can wriggle out of your arms if you’re holding a sparkler. Children under five may want to hold a sparkler, but will not yet understand the dangers associated with the sparkler, therefore it is imperative you do not let allow them to hold one. Children over five can hold a sparkler, but only under strict supervision, along with gloves whilst holding them. Sparklers can reach a temperature of 2000 degrees, it is therefore essential to have a bucket of water close at hand, and always remind a child to not wave them around close to their face. Never let a child put a sparkler in their pocket, always ensure strict supervision over any children present.
A sparkler is most likely the only firework you will allow your child to handle personally, but there are still key things to remember if you are not attending an organised bonfire event.
- Use a torch rather than a naked flame to check instructions, or if you have an outside light, be sure to switch this on when constructing a firework.
- Never throw spent fireworks on to the Bonfire, they can still cause the fire to get out of hand.
- The safest place for a bonfire is at least 18 metres from the house and the surrounding trees.
- Use tongs or gloves to pick up all spent fireworks.
- Keep children away from all rockets, and remember to never go back once a firework has been lighted, some take a while to take off.
- Avoid Alcohol if you are the person in charge of lighting the fireworks, a no tolerance policy is the best one to adopt when the safety of yourself and children are at hand.
- Light fireworks at arms length using a taper.
If the worst should happen…
Cool any burn immediately, keep the burn under cold water for at least ten minutes.
Don’t touch the burn or remove any clothing that may be stuck to the burn.
Contact the NHS 111 line in even the most minor cases of a burn to ensure further medical help is not required.
Most importantly, make sure you have a great fireworks evening, enjoy the sights and sounds of this wonderful night. Common sense, along with a respect of the dangers involved, will ensure all members of the family have a great time.