Stay safe with our firework safety tips
Celebrations attract the use of fireworks. This is no different for Halloween and bonfire night, which traditionally are some of the busiest nights of the year for emergency services.
Staying safe Staying safe during ‘mischief’ week is as important as having fun. Anti-social behaviour associated with the Halloween and firework period has become a major issue for many communities in the UK.
Halloween and bonfire night for example, and the days running up to them, are traditionally some of the busiest nights of the year for the police, the fire brigade and other agencies.
The anti-social use of fireworks and the resultant damage which can be caused to property is a serious concern, posing a threat to all types of buildings, including commercial and residential properties, and the business community. Here are some of our tips on staying safe, but of course still having some fun.
- You must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am.
- The exceptions are: – Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight – New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am
- You can be fined up to £5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.
- You can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use on these dates: – 15 October to 10 November – 26 to 31 December – 3 days before Diwali and Chinese New Year At other times you can only buy fireworks from licensed shops
If you decide to get together with family and friends, here are some tips on staying safe when using fireworks.
- Only buy fireworks that comply with British Standard 7114 or its European equivalent. Instructions should be in English.
- Don’t drink alcohol if you’re lighting fireworks.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box.
- Follow the instructions on each firework and be sure they’re suitable for home use.
- Light fireworks at arm’s length using a taper.
- Stand well back.
- Never go near a firework that has been lit. If it hasn’t yet gone off, it could still explode.
- Never throw fireworks or put them in your pocket.
- Always supervise children around fireworks.
- Keep pets indoors.
In the workplace…
During this period it’s even more important to review your business close down procedures; here are some basic precautions to reduce the risk posed by fireworks.
- Ensure that all areas of the premises are made secure at the end of the working day and doors, windows; skylights and other possible means of entry through which fireworks could be introduced are properly closed and locked.
- In areas where the risk of antisocial behaviour is perceived as high, consideration should be given to protecting letter boxes internally with proprietary metal containers, designed to contain fires from lighted materials such as fireworks. A number of such products are widely available, including those which incorporate an automatic fire extinguisher, offering enhanced protection.
- Take particular care to ensure that all yards and open areas surrounding the premises are clear of accumulated rubbish and that waste bins are appropriately located and secured.
- Timber pallets, plastic crates and other combustible materials stored in the open should be kept to a minimum and located a suitable distance away from the buildings.
- Flammable liquids and gases should be confined to their designated storage facilities.
- Vegetation surrounding the buildings is cut back and removed.
If you are planning on having fireworks at home or in the workplace if the worst should happen, you may need to call on your home or business insurance. Check your policy wording beforehand to make sure you’ve complied with all the small print.