Make Sure You Are Safe This Bonfire Night
Over the years, love them or hate them, the Health and Safety Executive have definitely aided in bringing down the number of firework-related injuries over the past few years.
There is no reason why you and your family or community group cannot have a safe and beautiful display to the delight of everyone.
There are a few simple tips and recommendations to ensure that everyone has a great time this Bonfire night.
Before the event, there are a number of steps to be taken:
• Designate a firer – this may not seem important but in order to ensure that things run smoothly, there needs to be one person in charge. Make sure you have your full personal protection equipment. We would recommend a high visibility vest or jacket, safety goggles, port-fires and suitable footwear.
• Measure your site – it is absolutely no good buying all your fireworks for a 25m safety distance and finding out the site is only 17m wide! Remember to take into consideration the ‘fallout’ area for the display
• Plan for the worst – although with the necessary steps taken, there should not be an issue, make sure you have someone available to call the emergency services.
• Only buy from a reputable firework supplier. The ones that ‘fell of the back of a lorry’ probably did, resulting in damage or indeed, not meeting British Safety standards – this happens for a reason – they are tested to make sure that they are safe to use!! Make sure your fireworks are marked as BS 7114
• If your display is being provided by a professional firework company, make sure you are clear on who does what in the event of an emergency.
• Store the fireworks as instructed – this should be a cool dry place
• Inform local authority and emergency services
On the day of the event:
• Re-check the site, weather conditions and wind direction
• Don’t let anyone other than the display operator or firer into the safety area/fall out zone
• Don’t drink – alcohol and fireworks do not mix – you will need all of your wits about you
• Never attempt to re-light fireworks – leave them over-night if possible and drop them into a bucket of water to de-activate the flash/gun powder
• Mark out and plan the display area – any reputable fireworks supplier will be able to provide this for you
• Think about access to the site for the emergency services in the event of an accident
• Appoint marshals/stewards – make sure they know where the viewing public are and are not allowed to enter and what to do in the event of an emergency
• Sign-post first aid posts
• If you are near an airport – let them know
If you are in any doubt, call your local fireworks supplier – they would rather you were safe than sorry.