Everyone loves the excitement of Guy Fawkes Night, but whether you're heading off to a huge extravaganza or gathering at a local pub or friend's garden, it has to be safety first when it comes to fireworks and fires.
"We want families to enjoy themselves on bonfire night but it is also important to remember that fireworks are explosives, not toys," says Sheila Merrill, public health adviser at The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). "They can burn and seriously injure, and sadly, each year, RoSPA hears of people being hurt in firework accidents that are avoidable."
"The safest place to see fireworks is always at an organised display, so try and go to one near you, but if you decide to hold your own party, good preparation is vital and always follow the firework code (see below) and ensure that only adults deal with fireworks, with children watching from a safe distance.
"Sparklers should not be given to children under five and should be lit one at a time. Gloves should be worn for protection too because the heat from a sparkler can be equivalent to that from a welding torch."
The firework code:
1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable
2. Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time
3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
4. Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit
7. Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
10. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.
Take a look at RoSPA's fireworks website at Saferfireworks.com for all you need to know about having a fireworks party. It features tips for keeping people safe, animal welfare information, details of the law and the different types of firework available as well as practical planning and hosting advice.
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