Stay safe when celebrating

bonfire
Posted on: 1 November

There are many reasons to celebrate throughout the year. We want you to stay safe while you celebrate, so follow our simple tips and have a great time!

This is the busiest time of year for the Fire and Rescue Services with 50% more calls than on an average night on Bonfire night alone.

However, many of the 999 calls turn out to be well intended false alarms, where people have spotted a fire which turns out to be a controlled bonfire in a garden. This year Avon Fire & rescue Service is asking people to let their neighbours know if they are having a bonfire as this may help to reduce unnecessary 999 calls.

Firefighters are encouraging people to have a happy and safe Bonfire Night by attending organised displays and events. Organised events tend to be much safer with a reduced risk of injuries from bonfires and fireworks compared with garden displays.

If you are having a celebration at home make sure you follow the guideline below and stay safe.

The Firework Code and safety tips for sparklers and bonfires

Despite annual safety warnings, firework celebrations still end in painful injuries for too many people, including very young children.

Yet fireworks can be great fun for families, not just around November 5 (Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night), but also Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year.

Injury figures support the advice that the safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display – far fewer people are injured here than at smaller family or private parties.

But if you’ll be having a firework party at home, you can make the occasion fun and safe for everyone by following the Firework Code, as well as some sparkler and bonfire safety tips.

Firework Code

Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks and the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used. Children and young people should watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance. Follow these top 10 tips for a safer fireworks party:

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable
  2. Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time
  3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  4. Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back
  5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  7. Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  10. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Sparkler safety

Sparklers are often viewed as being harmless but they burn at fierce temperatures, equivalent to a welding torch. Follow these top tips for sparkler safety:

  • It is recommended that sparklers are not given to under-5s
  • Make sure everyone handling sparklers wears gloves
  • Hold sparklers at arm’s length while being lit
  • Don’t wave sparklers about close to other people
  • Never hold a baby in your arms while you are holding a sparkler
  • When the sparkler has finished put it in a bucket of cold water.

Bonfire safety

  • One person should be responsible for the bonfire and children should be supervised
  • Choose a site away from wooden fences, sheds and where children will be playing
  • Never pour petrol, paraffin or meths on to a fire – it’s safer to use fire lighters to prevent flare-ups
  • Keep a bucket of water handy in case of an accident
  • Avoid loose clothing and tie back long hair
  • After the party, pour water on the fire, rather than leaving it to burn out.

Please act responsibly and have consideration for those around you!

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