You will already know that November the 5th is Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night, and you probably know something about the history too (attempt to blow up Houses of Parliament, Gunpowder Plot etc, etc). However, unless you are careful, the celebrations around Bonfire Night can end up with a nasty outcome. Making sure you stay safe while enjoying the evening is important.
While many people will head out to watch a public fireworks display, others will instead chose to let off a few fireworks and perhaps have a bonfire of their own. Of course, children should not be allowed to let off fireworks, and they should be kept a safe distance away. Everyone knows this, but sadly the statistics show that under 18s make up the majority of fireworks accidents.
While accidents may unfortunately happen, some of these injuries are brought about by people playing around with fireworks and not following the ‘Fireworks Code.’ This is often included in boxes of fireworks, and includes obvious information like making sure you only use fireworks that comply with British Standard 7114 or its European equivalent, and that the instructions should be in English.
Of course, you shouldn’t usually be letting display fireworks off in your back garden (unless you have a very large garden), and you should follow any instructions. Wearing gloves to handle sparklers and not giving them to under-fives is pretty obvious, as is keeping your pets indoors.
As everybody should know, fireworks can be dangerous, so it is surprising how frequently people fall foul of the most obvious rules on the code. For example, don’t drink alcohol if you are lighting fireworks. Explosives and drunkenness are rarely a good combination!
Keeping the fireworks in a closed box is another obvious one – if a spark hits an open box it could cause an expensive and potentially dangerous unexpected ‘display.’ Likewise, putting fireworks in your pocket or throwing them are obviously dangerous, yet you may be surprised how often these sort of things happen!
Using a safety lighter rather than a naked flame near the fireworks is yet another often ignored rule. It appears that, for some, getting the firework lit as quickly as possible is more important than potentially having it go off in your face! Standing a good distance back and not returning to a firework that has not gone off yet are also both bits of fairly obvious advice.
Despite the obvious nature of this safety advice, every year people end up in hospital after being careless with fireworks. That said, it is one thing to have an unfortunate accident and another thing to end up injured from willingly playing with fireworks.
Nobody has ever thought that they would be the ones to get injured while messing about with fireworks, but every year there are people up and down the country who end up just like that. These people are also more likely to be young people fooling about with their friends.
So please, tonight, don’t let it be you…
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