Before they explode, know the code:
Millions of people throughout many centuries have enjoyed fireworks. Accidents can happen with anything though – anytime, anywhere. Don’t let it happen to you with fireworks, because the consequences of carelessness with fire can be devastating.
The guidelines for a safe fireworks party are very simple to observe:
1. Follow the Fireworks Code.
- Only buy fireworks marked CE.
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box
- Follow the instructions on each firework
- Light all fireworks at arm’s length, using a taper.
- Stand well back
- Never go back to a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
- Always supervise children around fireworks.
- Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
- Never give sparklers to a child under five.
- Keep Pets indoors.
- Don’t let off fireworks after 11 pm.
For more information on keeping pets safe in the fireworks and bonfire season please read our pets and fireworks safety article.
2. Use only CE Fireworks
- Check this when you are buying. All reputable dealers will only sell fireworks to this standard and if you are ever offered any others leave them alone!
3. Take special care with sparklers
- Sparklers can be beautiful and enjoyable for young children but adults must be aware of their potential. Sparklers are the cause of a disproportionate number of injuries but only a few simple precautions are necessary.
- Always supervise children with sparklers.
- Teach them to hold the sparkler at arm’s length, but not near anyone else
- Sparklers are not for the under 5s. They will be labelled as such and it is your responsibility.
- Have a container of water handy, big enough for the spent sparkler. Dump the sparkler in it as soon as it goes out.
Fireworks safety downloads
The Fireworks Code: English
The Fireworks Code: Multilingual
Fireworks and Bonfire Night Safety
Safety for Firework Displays
Poster for Children: English
Poster for Children: Welsh
Leaflet for Children: English
Leaflet for Children: Welsh
Poster for Teenagers: English
Poster for Teenagers: Welsh
Fireworks Safety Quiz:
Fireworks Safety Quiz:
Staying Safe in the Fireworks Season:
Staying Safe this fireworks season with your family. Bonfire night is fast approaching and with this, in mind, it is only fair to give people the heads up with regards safety and also reiterate the importance of being vigilant around bonfires and fireworks.
We appreciate that it is probably the last thing that you want to read when you excitedly shop online for the very best fireworks to celebrate the 5th November, but without taking appropriate safety precautions, the celebration could quickly turn into a nightmare, so it is something that is well worth taking seriously.
Fireworks are quite possibly the best way to get a party started, and it is very clear and easy to understand why people would want to have them to celebrate an event or occasion. In order to fully appreciate and enjoy the mesmerizing lights and sounds that these wonderful things give you, however, they need to be treated with respect and it is with that in mind that we have composed our list of do’s and don’ts that will help you stay safe this 2017.
It has to be said that fireworks are not the only hazard on Bonfire night – the clue is in the name. Bonfires themselves provide all sorts of risks, as do accessories such as sparklers, so we will also be highlighting some top tips to stay safe with these too.
Whilst a large portion of people still attend large public bonfires, more and more people are deciding to put on a celebration of their own at home – and it is easy to see why. People can feel closer to the action, can be in the company of people that they want to be around and can enjoy laughter and food at the same time, probably for a fraction of the cost.
For the people who intend on hosting a bonfire party at their home, however, it is imperative that they follow some very basic, but paramount rules. Most of them are common-sense, but nevertheless, you’d be surprised just how many people fail to adhere to them – especially when the party is in full swing.
The crucial rules to a safe November 5th:
- We believe that just one person should be designated to be the one in charge of the bonfire and fireworks. Even though you may think that several pairs of hands will make the evening run smoother, it will actually prove more chaotic and dangerous if several people are lighting fireworks and tending to the bonfire. If just one person is in charge, that person knows which fireworks have been lit and which ones not to go back to. If there are people darting around here, there and everywhere, there is bound to be an accident – and this could easily ruin the night, and worst case, mean an emergency for someone.
- You should try to have a plan of where you want people to stand to watch the fireworks and bonfire and ensure people stick to what you have decided. We appreciate this may be difficult if you have a small garden, but it is always wise to put the safety of your guests first. Try and pace out a decent amount of space where people can easily see what’s going on, but where they will be safe should the fire get out of control or there is a wayward rocket.
- Make sure if there are any children around that you make sure they understand that they can’t run around too. If they fail to listen, don’t light anything – it’s as simple as that. You should also make sure that the fireworks are contained in a sealed box out of reach of others, in particular children.
- As well as maintaining that all guests are safe and understand how to behave around your bonfire, it is equally important that the person in charge of lighting everything behaves in the same vain. The bonfire should be lit, maintained and then stayed away from so that should anything explode, or the flames get a little too big, people are far enough away not to be hurt and there is enough time to bring the fire under control. Never, ever use petrol or paraffin to get a fire started.
- Fireworks should be lit one at a time and in a direction that isn’t going to head towards anyone. If they don’t go off once lit, never go back to them as there may be a delay and they may explode causing injury. Fireworks should also be lit at arms’ length and people should never put their faces over the firework whilst they light it.
- When all the fireworks are done and people start heading home, it is important that you spend a time securing the area. Make sure that the fire is out before you head off indoors and ensure that there is no risk. A lot of people will go to bed whilst the fire is still burning (let’s be fair it takes a while for a fire to go out once it has been burning for a few hours); but we’d advise against this as fires can spread quickly for no apparent reason. Whilst ever there are still flames, the bonfire is dangerous and could pose a risk. Never leave it unattended.
- Sparklers are also a big part of the Bonfire night celebrations. In fact, they are so popular that people tend to use them for all kinds of occasions, whether that be for weddings or birthdays. Unfortunately, though, just like fireworks, if they aren’t treated with respect and used properly they can quickly turn into something altogether dangerous – with this in mind you are always advised to exercise caution – especially if there are young people around with curious and inquisitive personalities.
- Sparklers should always be kept at arms’ length; they should be held whilst wearing gloves and you should always stand away from others so that there are no accidental burns should someone trip or stumble into you. You should always have a bucket of water at the ready and close by so that when the sparkler is finished burning it can be disposed of quickly and correctly. You should also monitor children that are using sparklers. It is advised that children under the age of six do not use sparklers at all, but even children who are older than this should be supported and supervised by parents. Guide their hand and demonstrate what to do with sparklers and ensure they stay in one place and do not run around whilst holding a sparkler.
Be safe not sorry:
To be fair you’ve probably read the above and thought to yourself: ’why do I need to know this? It’s all common sense stuff.’
You’re right. It is all common sense stuff, but you’d be surprised at the statistics when it comes to Bonfire night and just how many people are seriously injured and hurt because they haven’t followed the right safety precautions. We get it. Sometimes you’re in full party mode and want to enjoy time with friends and family and you’re chatting away whilst tending to the food, lighting the fire and taking care of the fireworks – but this is a disaster waiting to happen. Monitoring the fire and taking care of the fireworks demands full attention and should be done with utmost care.
We’re not wanting to put people off having their own bonfire night celebrations either. We are the fireworks people and the go to place for all firework essentials after all; all we wish to do is highlight the importance of safety on Bonfire night to ensure that people have the best time of it.
It is also important for us to warn of the dangers of public displays. People automatically assume that a public display will be set up with heightened safety and security measures in place, and whilst most places adhere to these rules, there will still be one or two that don’t quite match up to UK regulations. If at any point you feel that a public display isn’t as safe as it ought to be, you need to speak up and voice your concerns to the people in charge. This could be the difference between someone enjoying a good public display and someone getting hurt and the display then having to get shut down, which would ruin many people’s celebrations. It is everyone’s responsibility to take fire safety seriously and public displays are no exception.
We should also highlight the importance of sourcing fireworks from a reputable source. Here we have a firm and established reputation that spans many years and we have customers that come back year after year safe in the knowledge they are getting the very best quality fireworks, some of the best in the world, for a price that is affordable.
When it comes to fireworks, because of the danger element, it is imperative that you purchase them from a reliable source and don’t just go for cheap options. We appreciate that people will want to get fireworks for as little cost as possible, but you should never compromise safety. You should always check out that firework sellers are approved for the UK and have a good reputation. It isn’t just the safety aspect either why you should be cautious when buying fireworks from a source you’ve never heard of; you have to bear in mind that the fireworks themselves may not be very good. They may only deliver half of what they promise on the night and result in a disappointing display for all concerned.
As previously said, we have years of expertise in the industry and have a reputation that is second to none – we know the importance of good quality fireworks. Whatever you do, ensure that you give your Bonfire night the celebration that it deserves – buy the real mccoy!
Finally, bonfire night is a time for families getting together, enjoying one another’s company, sampling good food, getting wrapped up on a cold, miserable, glum and damp November night and enjoying the lights, sounds and smells that emanate from great fireworks. Now more than ever before we should be celebrating nights like this as it gives us the freedom to have fun and enjoy ourselves. Bonfire night really is one of the highlights of the 12-month calendar and it should be celebrated in style.
Be safe and enjoy yourselves – that, after all, is what Bonfire night is all about.
Staying Safe this fireworks season with your family should be paramount to you.
Further advice, publications etc:
- Government information on fireworks and bonfire safety.
- FireworkSafety website, for valuable advice.
- Safer Fireworks RoSPA’s site ‘to make sure your firework parties are fun’
- H&SE Guide to Safety for Firework Display Organizers
- Various fire brigades have advice on fireworks, bonfires and barbecues on the web: