November is approaching, and traditionally we like to kick off the month with Bonfire Night celebrations! It’s a popular way to add a bit of warmth to the early winter, although safety shouldn’t be forgotten in the process. It’s easy to get distracted by the fun of a fireworks display or a bonfire, but there are some general safety tips you have to keep in mind, especially when there are children around.
Firstly, when it comes to actual fireworks, these items are not toys! They are subject to certain laws in the UK, so make sure for a start you only buy legally safe ones and don’t try to customise them in any way. Nominate someone to be responsible for fireworks and their safety if you are hosting your own display. They should have a dedicated area and the correct equipment for launching them, with a bucket of water and first aid kit on hand, plus all the correct wearable safety gear.
Sparklers are another common feature of bonfire night celebrations, and they’re especially popular with kids, although remember they’re far from harmless! In fact, while it may be close to freezing outside, the tip of a sparkler can easily reach 2,000°C which makes it more than capable of giving you a nasty burn. Again you’ll need a bucket of water nearby to put them out if necessary. It’s essential to always wear gloves when handling sparklers, and never to do so in a crowded area.
A bonfire may not be an essential part of your celebrations, despite the tradition, and in fact all official safety regulations would recommend that you avoid it due to the potential safety risks involved. Unnecessary fires are not advisable in any circumstances, but if you keep a bonfire under control you can ensure it’s safe with a little effort. Keep it a long way from your house, any other structures or trees. Never use flammable substances to speed up a bonfire, like petrol.
In general, whatever you’re doing for bonfire night as part of your celebrations, it’s the responsibility of everyone there to behave appropriately and cooperate with anyone in charge of ensuring people’s safety. Most people actually drink alcohol during these kinds of events, but this isn’t ever advisable as it can significantly increase the risks of accident and injury. If possible it may be a good idea to only drink after the display is over!