Derby Hub member Kedleston Safety gives a rundown of the do’s and dont’s for a fun, safe and memorable time this fireworks season.
We love bonfire night don’t we? As spectacular as they look, fireworks are explosives that can reach speeds of 150 mph. The maximum burning temperature of a firework is 2,000 degrees Celsius and they are therefore extremely dangerous. Whilst the majority of us thoroughly enjoy Bonfire Night let us not underestimate how destructive they can be and the terrible injuries which can easily result from the mishandling of fireworks.
With Bonfire Night just around the corner, there are going to be a lot of fireworks set off. Although this is normally a great evening out with family and friends, accidents can happen if you don’t know the basics of firework safety
As long as everyone follows the correct health and safety procedures everyone will have a great night!
If you are going to a public display the organisers of public displays need to perform risk assessments, making sure that nobody has their night ruined by avoidable injuries. Dangerous areas, where fireworks are being lit, for example, are usually located far away from the gathered crowds, and are cordoned off with barriers and warning signs to stop people accidentally straying too close. Make sure you don’t wander too close, and keep an eye on children.
The bright lights, amazing colours of firework displays are exciting, especially for young children. However, despite their appeal, fireworks are barely more than a cardboard tube of explosive gunpowder! Teach your children the main dangers of fireworks and how to keep safe. Children should stand well back as you light them and always try to store them out of their reach, you don’t want a trip to A&E.
Maybe you are having a display at home? Remember these few health and safety tips and you will have a fabulous evening.
- Have a clearly marked Danger Zone where you’ll light your fireworks.
- Designate one person to light the fireworks, this reduces the chances of miscommunication.
- Keep anyone not lighting fireworks out of the Danger Zone. Be especially aware of children.
- Make sure that nobody is wearing flammable clothing – for obvious reasons.
- Always keep a bucket of water, or sand, handy to put out the sparklers. They should never be disposed of on the floor.
Here are some general health and safety tips for fire works
- Once a firework is lit, don’t go back to it.
- Create and stick to a plan when lighting your fireworks. The plan should include the order the fireworks are lit.
- Only ever light one firework at a time.
- Direct the fireworks away from the crowd in case it goes off course.
- Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper.
- Read the instructions!
- Stay Safe
Sparklers, like other fireworks, must be used with care. They can get 6 times as hot as a pan of cooking oil and sparkler injuries have been on the increase. It makes sense to keep sparklers in safe hands
- Store sparklers and other fireworks in a closed box in a cool, dry place.
- Always light sparklers one at a time.
- Never hold a baby or child if you have a sparkler in your hand.
- Plunge finished sparklers hot end down into a bucket of water as soon as they have burnt out. They can stay hot for a long time.
- Don’t take sparklers to public displays. It will be too crowded to use them safely.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidelines on holding private and public bonfire events. These guidelines offer advice on how to manage health and safety issues through organisation and planning.
Did you know?
It is against the law to carry fireworks in public if you’re under 18
Fireworks must not be sold to anyone who is under 18
It is an offence to let fireworks off during night hours (11pm to 7am), except on Bonfire Night (midnight), Diwali, New Year’s Eve, and Chinese New Year (1am)
It is an offence under the Explosives Act 1875 to tamper with or modify fireworks