Following The Fireworks Code
The Fireworks Code has been put into place to ensure everyone’s safety when using fireworks. It’s vital that every single step is followed because if even one of them is overlooked, everyone at the fireworks display could be in life-threatening danger. You can read more about the fireworks code at The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 12 pm. Usually, the law states that fireworks must not be set off after 11 pm, but on Bonfire Night that time is extended by one hour to 12 pm.
Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark and keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time. CE marking confirms that the fireworks have been assessed by a ‘Notified Body’ and have passed the necessary health and safety checks.
If you don’t buy fireworks from a trusted source then you are putting you and everyone around you in danger. Every year there are horror stories as a result of dodgy and unsafe fireworks. Don’t let that happen to you.
Read instructions carefully
Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary. While this may seem self-explanatory, it’s easy to misread something in the dark. Ideally, you should aim to read and understand fireworks well in advance of using them. You don’t want to be questioning last second whether you are lighting the correct end as you have a lit match or taper in your hand!
Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back. In case something with the firework goes wrong, you will be as far as possible from the explosive. If you don’t have a taper, try to use long matches to at least give you some distance when lighting the firework.
Keep other flames away
Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks. Flames from external sources could react violently to the fireworks, so this is a risk which should be completely avoided.
If it doesn’t go off, leave it alone
Never return to a firework once it has been lit. While it might not look like it’s been lit properly or it’s just fallen over, it could still explode at any moment. It may be slightly disappointing, but the safest thing to do is just leave it be. If it gets to the morning and it still hasn’t moved, then it is probably safe to check it!
Don’t throw or pocket fireworks
Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them. Fireworks could explode in your pocket and if you throw them they could go off and harm people who are standing nearby. Think that would never happen? Well, it has.
Take careful aim
Be aware of your neighbours and the size of your garden when you are purchasing fireworks to be sure you can aim them in a safe direction. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators. This is because they could misfire and go off at a slight angle, so you should make sure even if there is a misfire it still won’t be anywhere near spectators.
Don’t use petrol or paraffin
Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire. Even if you’re struggling to get the bonfire started, you should never resort to using petrol or paraffin because it could very quickly get out of control. Instead, there are a few tips you can follow to get your bonfire safely roaring.
Make a safe exit
Make sure that your bonfire is out, fireworks have finished and surroundings are made safe before leaving. If you are going to run your own private display, ensure you have safely cleaned up any equipment and nothing potentially dangerous has been left out where others (including animals that come out at night) might stumble across it.