Remember, remember, safety on the fifth of November. Fireworks and bonfires can be a lot of fun, steeped in tradition. However, if used irresponsibly, they can result in serious injury.
Our personal injury lawyers have put together a quick and simple guide to staying safe around fireworks and bonfires.
How to Safely Use Fireworks
Whether planning a fireworks display in your garden, or attending a public show at a local park or club, the same safety precautions apply. Regardless of the size of the audience or the type of fireworks being used, in the wrong hands, or used irresponsibly, a mishandled or misused firework can end up with serious consequences. So before you set one off, bear in mind the following:
1. Keep fireworks away from children. Only responsible adults should handle fireworks.
2. Follow the instructions. Commercially-sold fireworks should come with clear directions for usage. Instructions often vary depending on the type of firework, so it’s important to check that you know exactly what you should be doing for each one you light.
3. Prepare your launch site. Whether in your garden or a public field, make sure are not over-hanging plants or flammable items in the vicinity. It is a good idea to mark an area designated for launching fireworks that spectators and children shouldn’t cross.
4. Warn people. Every time a firework is about to be lit, ensure that everyone in the area knows.
5. Precautions for lighting fireworks. Have a bucket of water nearby before lighting any of your fireworks. Only let one firework off at a time, and make sure everyone is safely out of reach before lighting. Once the firework is lit, leave the area. If a firework appears to be faulty or won’t seem to light, don’t trust it, store it in the bucket of water along with other used fireworks to be later disposed of.
Keeping Safe Around Bonfires
When it comes to building a bonfire, it is your preparations beforehand that will ensure that any risk to you and others is minimised. Fires are not easily controlled, so it is essential that you do everything possible to make sure there are no surprises.
1. Controlling the fire. You should clear the designated area of anything that could spread the fire, mounting your wood and kindling so that it is sturdy, bearing in mind that it could topple once ablaze. If using fuel or firelighters, ensure you know precisely where they are within the kindling, and store far out of reach of the flames once lit.
2. Adults only. Under no circumstances should children go near the bonfire. Building and lighting should be carried out by responsible adults.
3. Safety measures. Mark a perimeter out of reach of the fire that spectators and children can’t cross. Keep plenty of buckets of water at hand, and once the fire has died down, pour water on the embers.
It is highly recommended that instead of using fireworks at home, you attend a public display managed by experience professionals this bonfire night. If you do buy your own fireworks, always light them with safety in mind.
If you are injured on an accident involving fireworks through no fault of your own you may be able to make a personal injury claim. For legal advice about claiming compensation, call Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyers on freephone 0800 112 4489 or contact us online.