Bonfire Night Safety
Whilst the vast majority of us thoroughly enjoy Bonfire Night and in particular fireworks, let us not under-estimate the destructive power of pyro and the terrible injuries which can easily result from the mishandling of fireworks.
The video above highlights the dangers of playing with fireworks has been released by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) as they go on sale ahead of Bonfire Night.
Part of the annual Treacle campaign, launched this week, it shows the devastating effects an illegal firework can have when it explodes in a child’s hand.
It comes a year after an “onion bomb” (also known as a shell) detonated in the face of a 10-year-old boy in Salford leaving him with serious burns and facial injuries.
Assistant County Fire Officer and Director of Prevention, Peter O’Reilly said: “As Bonfire Night approaches we want everyone to enjoy it safely, so this video serves as a reminder to children and parents what can happen if you don’t take firework safety seriously.
“Last year everyone remembers the shocking image of a 10-year-old boy in hospital with serious injuries, he had been holding an illegal onion bomb when it exploded in his face. “This year, we hope this video, which reveals the horrors of firework injuries, will make people think twice.”
Here are some facts and figures and safety advice to ensure that you don’t end up being another statistic:
• Did you know that fireworks can reach speeds of up to 150-200 mph.
• It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18 – so if you are asked for ID, please don’t be offended – it is for your benefit and ensures that fireworks are handled only by those responsible enough to do so.
• Sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 1600 degrees centigrade which is as hot as a blowtorch. Do not allow the under 5’s to handle sparklers – before you have the time to think and react, your little one could have third degree burns on their little hands.
• Bonfire Night was originally call ‘Bone Fire’ night in reference to the burning of the carcasses of the animals slaughtered in the Summer months.
• Until as late as 1959, it was illegal to not celebrate Bonfire Night in the UK.
• Throwing fireworks is not only crassly stupid and an extremely dangerous thing to do but it could result in a fine of up to £5000.00
• Pets can become very upset over the Bonfire Night period of celebrations, which can go on for up to 10-days depending on when the actually 5th falls but if you follow a few simple rules, you can alleviate some of their distress. We at Epic Fireworks recommend that you check out the details available on the RSPCS website.
• More than half the reported injuries sustained on BFN are to children. The most common damage seen in hospitals up and down the country are to the hands and face.
• Make sure that any fireworks or sparklers purchased comply to BS7114 or CE standards as set out by the Health and Safety Executive for safety and performance (they also check to ensure that the chemicals and metals etc used comply to strict recommended levels).
• Check the safety distance recommendations on your fireworks. They can vary from ‘garden’ fireworks which generally have a 5 metre safety distance and consumer display fireworks which have a 25 metre minimum recommended clearance distance.
Above all, whilst it is necessary to outline this information, provided you and your family follow the ‘Fireworks Code’ you will stay safe with all your fingers intact to celebrate for many more years to come.
• Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
• Keep fireworks in a closed box.
• Follow the instructions on each firework.
• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper.
• Stand well back.
• Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
• Always supervise children around fireworks.
• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
• Never give sparklers to a child under five.
• Keep pets indoors.
• Don’t let off noisy fireworks after 11pm (this does not apply at New Year.
Get children involved and make a poster about firework safety. It is much better to do this than run the risk of a lifetime of pain and skin grafts.