Despite health and safety warnings and campaigns, fireworks still cause numerous injuries and deaths. However, fireworks can provide great fun for all the family as long as everyone follows the right safety procedures. As a property and home insurance specialist, here are some suggestions from Adler Insurance Brokers for a safe fireworks display at home.
- Plan your firework display. Keep checking the weather conditions, as these can change right up until the last minute and can affect the display and the safety, for example the wind speed and direction can mean a greater distance is needed between the lighting area and where people are watching the display.
- Always buy your fireworks from reputable shops and make sure they conform to British Safety Standards (BS7114).
- Store the fireworks in a secure, closed box out of children’s reach. Don’t put fireworks in your pockets.
- Read the firework instructions carefully and in daylight (or with a torch if necessary). Never use a naked flame!
- Always wear eye protection and gloves when handling and lighting fireworks. Fireworks should only be lit by adults and at arm’s length with a taper.
- Children should be kept well away from fireworks. Teach your children about fire/firework safety.
- Once fireworks are lit stand well back. Keep lighting area and area around fireworks clear. Only the person lighting fireworks should be here. Never return to a firework once it has been lit or attempt to relight fireworks.
- Make sure people watching, especially children, are a safe distance from where the fireworks are being lit. As above, this may need to be changed depending on the weather conditions.
- Animals don’t like the noise and commotion around firework night, so they should be kept safely indoors. Make sure they cannot get out of windows and doors and it may be an idea to draw the curtains too. Bare in mind displays take place on various days around 5th November.
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, well away from fireworks.
- Keep buckets of water nearby in case of emergency.
- Don’t light fireworks under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Direct fireworks well away from spectators.
- If you are having a display at home, warn your neighbours. Especially the elderly or those with pets or young children.
- Sparklers are often seen as being harmless and suitable for children. However, they do burn at very high temperatures. Sparklers should be kept away from young children and children with sparklers should be supervised by an adult. Gloves should always be worn. Sparklers should be held at arms length. When the sparkler has finished, put it into a bucket of cold water immediately and leave it there to cool completely.
Disposing of fireworks
- Never put fireworks, even those that have been used and burnt out, on the bonfire. Do not bury fireworks.
- Soak misfired or partly spent fireworks in a container of water where they can not be tampered with and well away from children. Contact the manufacturer or supplier for advice on safely disposing of fireworks.
- Fully fired/spent fireworks should be disposed of according to the manufacturers’ instructions.