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How to stay safe this Bonfire Night

How to stay safe this Bonfire Night

Celebrations are exciting for all the family – but fireworks can be dangerous if not handled properly. Enjoy a great Bonfire Night with our firework safety tips.

Chris King
From the Home team
3
minute read
posted 1 NOVEMBER 2019

Only buy fireworks with safety markings

Fireworks with the CE mark meet current safety regulations. Don’t be tempted to buy fireworks without this mark, no matter how much cheaper they might be.

Clear the area 

Only light fireworks in completely clear areas, away from sheds and out of the way of overhanging trees or shrubbery. And make sure you put your garden furniture out of the way of any stray sparks.  

 

Adults only around fireworks

Around half of all firework injures happen to children under 16, government figures show. Keep children away from fireworks – and don’t let them light them.

Be careful with clothing

Loose clothing and long hair can be dangerous around naked flames. Avoid wearing synthetic material that could easily catch fire – cotton is much safer around flames.

Wear close-fitting clothes and hold fireworks at arms’ length when lighting them. Tie up your hair and wear gloves too. Goggles will make things even safer.

Avoid alcohol

There’s alcohol at around 90% of firework celebrations, according to government research. Those same figures show that 84% of people setting off fireworks had drunk two to three units of alcohol. It’s best not to light fireworks when you’ve been drinking – plus, alcohol is highly flammable.

Keep pets indoors

Many animals hate loud explosions and flashing lights, so find cats and dogs a cosy place to settle down, and close doors and windows to minimise the sound of fireworks.

Be prepared for accidents

No matter how careful you are, sometimes accidents happen. Keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher to hand when lighting fireworks or sparklers.

Don’t go back to a dud

Never go back to fireworks once they’ve been lit, even if one fails to go off. Wait until at least 30 minutes after the rest of the fireworks have exploded before dealing with duds. Treat them as though they’re still live. Soak them in water until they’re completely waterlogged, then throw them in the rubbish.

Light sparklers safely

Sparklers look pretty, but they burn at high temperatures and can easily cause injuries if they come into contact with skin. Always light sparklers one at a time and supervise any children using them. Never give sparklers to children under five.

What about home insurance?

Before hosting Bonfire Night celebrations, it’s a good idea to check your home insurance policy to make sure you have adequate protection for damage caused by fireworks and bonfires. Underinsuring your home or not taking reasonable safety precautions could affect your claim.

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