While most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, they can cause injury and damage to property in the wrong hands. Fireworks are explosives and should be treated with respect and only used following the manufacturer’s instructions and the firework safety code. Also, lighting bonfires in back gardens present significant risks to residents.
Did you know in 2021, there were 116 people injured by fireworks during Bonfire Night and Diwali, including 21 children under the age of 15? According to The College of Optometrists, “Every year, in the UK, around 300 people suffer serious eye injuries as a result of accidents involving fireworks, and ten of them lose their sight”.
We have put together some simple guidance to help ensure you have a happy and safe celebration.
- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display. You are much less likely to get hurt.
- If you buy fireworks, look for a CE or UKCA mark, and only buy from licenced retailers.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box, take them out one at a time, and close the box again each time.
- Always follow the instructions, never carry fireworks in your pocket, and never throw them.
- If the firework doesn’t go off, do not return to it (or throw it on the bonfire). It’s safest to keep away from it and dispose of it carefully the next day when you can be sure it’s properly out.
- Make sure your pets are safe, and let your neighbours know what will happen in plenty of time so they can take care of their pets.
- Be very careful with sparklers – make sure everyone wears suitable gloves, and don’t give them to kids under five (a sparkler gets 16 times hotter than your kettle).
- Be considerate about when you use them – it’s against the law to set them after 11 p.m. on most days and before seven in the morning. On Bonfire Night, it’s OK until midnight. On New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year, and Diwali, it’s OK until one o’clock in the morning.
- The law also says you must not set off fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or any other public place, so keep them in the garden. This also means that if you don’t have a private garden, you won’t be able to use fireworks.
- Please don’t light a bonfire, even in your own garden. The risk is very high, and even a small bonfire can cause a lot of damage.
Stay safe and be considerate.