Fireworks are fun when enjoyed safely – that’s the message from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), as the nation prepares for bonfire night celebrations.
RoSPA says that attending an organised display is the safest option, but with some people unable to get out and about and some local councils cancelling firework displays, there could be an uptick in people celebrating at home. And with every bonfire night witnessing serious injury cases, RoSPA recommends anyone hosting a display at home to read its firework safety advice.
Anyone planning on celebrating Bonfire Night should know:
- It is illegal to set off fireworks in public places, including streets and parks.
- It is illegal to buy, attempt to buy, give or in any way make a firework available to someone under the age of 18.
- It is illegal to set fireworks off before 6pm and after 11pm. This extends to midnight on 5th November and 1am on Hogmanay, Chinese New Year and Diwali.
- It’s safer to celebrate at an organised event if there’s one in your area, but if you’re planning a private display at home, make sure you know how to keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Keep a safe distance.
- Follow the Firework Code and read instructions before use.
- Not all fireworks are suitable for private use, it depends on the size of your garden – so do your research before purchasing.
RoSPA’s 10 Point Firework Code:
- Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and check the time you can legally set off fireworks
- In England, Scotland and Wales only buy fireworks which carry UKCA or CE marks. In the case of Northern Ireland look for the UKNI symbol along with the UKCA or CE mark. Keep your fireworks in a closed box, and use them one at a time
- Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
- Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
- Never return to a firework once it has been lit
- Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
- Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
- Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
- Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.
Phil Le Shirley, Public Safety Advisor at RoSPA, said:
“Bonfire night can be a magical time for families and communities, and we believe the safest way to enjoy fireworks is by going to an organised display where there will be the appropriate safety protocols in place.
“However, we do recognise that not everyone can attend organised displays and may wish to have their own at home. We therefore advise those people to only purchase fireworks from licensed sellers, follow the manufacturers guidelines and dispose of them safely.
“It’s also important to remember that sparklers are classed as fireworks and therefore are illegal to be sold to anyone under the age of 18, and sparklers should not be given to children under the age of five.”