Category Archives: the firework code

Fireworks Safety

While fireworks are safe for those following the firework code, common sense has to be applied as attitudes have changed over the years making fireworks related accidents a thing of the past except in a small number of instances.

In 1997 the fireworks industry changed overnight as new legislation came into place restricting the use of certain items, such as bangers, mortars, and pieces with erratic flight patterns unless specially trained and licensed for professional fireworks. Across the world as these videos show safety is paramount.

Back in 1962, Taffy Davis sits in his shed with a hopper of exotic fireworks powders – you will note the roof of Taffy’s workspace; this is designed to lift with very little effort, this will reduce any accidents blast range being contained blasting up rather than out.

At the end of the video, we agree – the man is a little close to the fountain. Back in those days there was no such thing as a 1.3G Fireworks or 1.4G Fireworks, safety distances, classification, powder weights etc. Everything was at the makers discretion!

Four years and over nine thousand miles away, Australia prepares for the Queen’s birthday, they would usually have “Cracker Night” on 24th of May to celebrate Commonwealth day, but this year the retailers in New South Wales are being warned to be extra careful when selling fireworks, with imported fireworks being tested for compliance.

The next video from the 1970’s features Gillian Taylforth, best known as Kathy Beale in Eastenders in her first TV role before going on to play a factory worker in the sit-com “the rag trade” in 1977.
This video is one of the few that targets a particular type of firework, the banger. The banger is probably one of the oldest types of pyrotechnic, being made since around 492 AD where gunpowder would be packed into bamboo and lit creating the bang to scare away evil spirits.

Bangers were banned in the UK in 1997 and for a very good reason – I would say that all the fireworks injuries I was ever made aware of, heard about or saw involved bangers. Unfortunately, there are still some illegal bangers about.

We have seen at first hand the danger these illegally imported fireworks can do especially as they have no safety controls and are just as likely to explode in your hand being made from sub-standard materials with a “guess how long it lasts fuse” DON’T BUY THEM.

Fast forward to 1990’s. Who remembers “Wellephant” the fire-fighting elephant? This video discusses the dangers of playing with matches – again common sense but here’s a question – matches are still dangerous today, but when was the last time you saw a public information film telling you this?

And finally 1957 U.S.A, these children living on an American airbase all have an incentive to join “fire school” (time off from regular lessons) where they learn how to safely extinguish a fire, surely it would make more sense to include everyone in the training.

Remember these helpful hints and stay safe and injury free this bonfire night – Buy fireworks marked BS 7114 or CE – Remember that you can only use category 1,2 and 3 at home. Category 4 fireworks can only used by professional firework display operators.

1. Keep fireworks in a closed metal box
2. Follow the instructions on each firework
3. Light them at arms length using a taper or portfire
4. Stand well back
5. Never go back to a lit firework
6. Never put fireworks in your pocket
7. Keep a bucket of water nearby if you are setting off fireworks in your garden
8. Never throw fireworks
9. Keep pets indoors
10. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix and may lead to injury


Stay Safe This Bonfire Night With These Simple Tips

The season is well and truly upon us already and Bonfire Night is fast approaching so here at EPIC, we provide you with the rules and regulations to ensure that you stay safe at your event.

Some things may appear to be like teaching granny how to suck eggs but you would be surprised at the number of queries we get annually about this very subject.

As with most things today, prevention is better than a cure. But, ultimately you don’t need someone spouting ‘I told you so’ when you have a burn victim to deal with so we will make this as simple as possible.

If you are having a few people round for your Bonfire Night event this year, it would be beneficial to create your own ‘First Aid Kit’ and it will work out a great deal cheaper than buying a pre-selected kit.

• Sterile saline solution
• Cling film or any sort of food film wrap
• Moist burn pads or skin pads which are widely available across the UK
• Aloe Vera cooling gel – choose one with ‘Aloe Vera as the first ingredient
• Paracetamol tablets
• Blunt tipped scissors – these will be particularly useful for removing clothing without causing additional injury or pain

Minor Burn advice:

• Rinse the injured part under cool (not freezing cold) water for 10 minutes
• Try to remove any jewelry or clothing from the affected area before the swelling appears – once cooled cover with the Aloe Vera and cling film or one of the specialist burn/skin pads
• If the burn is larger than your hand or appears to be particularly deep, seek medical attention as soon as possible
• If the victim is a child or an elderly person, we would recommend that you check with your health professional – if in doubt contact 111 for NHS choices service who will be able to point you in the right direction

Major Burn advice:

The same as Minor but automatically call 999 and do not give the patient anything to eat or drink until the emergency services arrive.

If the burns are widespread, use buckets of water or a hose pipe to cool the injury as much as possible whilst waiting for the specialists to arrive.

In the worst case scenario, digits have been lost from hands and feet as a result of stupidity or accident but prompt medical assistance may enable the medical team to re-attach the fingers or toes.

• Call 999
• Lay the victim down and raise the injured part
• Remove any visible foreign objects from around the wound which could potentially end up causing problems
• Apply pressure to the wound for 15 minutes and then release for 2 minutes and then re-apply. This ensures that blood flow can be maintained and will assist in re-attachment.
• Retrieve the missing digit and rinse it clean (do not scrub) and then wrap in a damp, clean cloth and make sure that the emergency service personnel have it with them when they leave. DO NOT USE ICE – this will damage the blood vessels and prevent any possibility of re-attachment.

And finally, eye injuries.

• Rinse out the eye with lots of cool water or saline solution
• Check the eye out using a light to see if there is any penetration of it
• Seek immediate medical assistance if the patient’s vision is blurred or impaired or there is evidence of a foreign object still in the eye which cannot be removed by flushing.
• If there is clearly something protruding from the eye leave it alone, get a wad of clean lint and transport the patient to the hospital for treatment

Hopefully, as in past years your Bonfire Night will proceed without any such information being necessary but harking back to my Girl Guide days its better to be prepared.