We all know just how fun fireworks can be, and many families up and down the country will celebrate with them every year either at home or at a public display. Whilst fun, they can be dangerous if not used safely and the recommended precautions not followed. With adults and children reporting injuries relating to fireworks and sparklers, it’s important to follow safety advice so that the experience is as enjoyable as possible. Here are our top tips for firework safety.
Only buy approved fireworks
If you’re looking to purchase fireworks for saleto use at home, you’ll want to ensure you only choose high-quality products. Unfortunately, there are those wanting to take advantage of interest around bonfire night, New Year’s Eve and sell poorly made fireworks. If you are unsure, always check the label and purchase those with BS 7114 marked. This will confirm they have been manufactured and tested to the highest standards. Category 2 fireworks are deemed safe for garden use and should not be used inside. If you cannot determine if the fireworks you choose are meeting the British standard, you should avoid them.
Keep a safe distance
One of the best ways to stay safe is to stand well back from any fireworks being used. The recommended distance is 5 metres away, as category 2 garden fireworks will not scatter beyond a 3-metre range, helping all spectators stay out of harms way. All fireworks if being launched from the ground should be aimed away from spectators, and once lit, not returned to. If a firework does not go off after being lit as expected, it’s important to not go near it as there may be a delay.
Wear gloves when handling sparklers
Whilst sparklers are much easier to use and do not provide the same effect as a firework or rocket, they are still dangerous if not used correctly. As they are designed to be held, wearing gloves can help protect exposed skin on your hands. They should also always be held at arm’s length, away from clothing, hair, and your face.
Children enjoy fireworks and sparklers just as much as adults, but supervision must be kept at all times. As sparklers are popular with children, they should not be left unattended when using them. This is because they get extremely hot and can cause severe burns if used incorrectly. They are pretty to look at but must not be touched where they are lit. Sparklers should not be used by children under 5 years old too, so an adult must hold the sparkler if any young children are present. With fireworks, ensure any children are kept at a safe distance and do not approach any that are prepared for use.
Have a bucket of water nearby
To ensure any fireworks or sparklers are extinguished correctly, you should have a bucket of water nearby to dispose of them. With sparklers once finished, they should be placed into the water with the used end first. With any unused fireworks you are planning to dispose of, you should also saturate them in water to ensure they cannot be lit. If you have any firework debris in your garden, make sure these are fully extinguished before disposing of too.