Remember, Remember
the 5th on November.
Your local Community Fire Safety Liaison Officer Points out the dangers of fireworks and bonfires
The Fire Service in no way wants to put a dampener on the fun of bonfire night but taking a few precautions and being aware of the dangers could prove invaluable!
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Fireworks cause hundreds of injuries every year.
In 1994-98 three people died and over 6,000 people required hospital treatment as a result of fireworks injuries. There were 831 injuries in 1998 alone, most occurring at private parties; 226 injuries resulted from incidents in the street and other public places; while 132 injuries occurred at large public fireworks displays.
A simple sparkler reaches a temperature of up to 2,000°C - over 15 times the boiling point of water. A rocket can travel up to 2.4km (150 miles) _per hour. All kinds of fireworks need handling with extreme care
So what precautions should I take?
If you are organising your own event:
Check the fireworks you are buying are suitable for the size of garden and conform to
British Standards (BS 7114:1988).
Ensure your display area is free from hazards.
Do not tamper with fireworks.
Read the instructions in daylight
Warn neighbours, especially the elderly and those with pets about your display.
One person - clearly identified - should be responsible for fireworks.
Store fireworks in a metal box with a lid.
Use a torch for checking instructions.
Use a bucket of earth to stick fireworks in or a board for flat fireworks.
Ensure supports for Catherine wheels etc are suitable.
Light fireworks at arms length with a taper.
Stand well back.
Never go back to a lit firework.
Keep storage box closed between uses.
Keep children under control.
Use tongs and gloves to collect spent fireworks.
Keep a bucket of water handy for sparklers, spent fireworks or emergency use (treating burns etc).
Should be at least 18 meters away from houses, trees, hedges, fences or sheds.
Before lighting check for animals and children.
Use domestic firelighters.
Never use petrol, paraffin or other flammable liquids.
Never put used fireworks, aerosols, foam-filled furniture, batteries, tins of paint or tyres on a bonfire.
If you are going to an organised display
Keep a close eye on the children in your care and make sure they do not wander off into areas of danger such as where the bonfire is or where fireworks are being used.
Ensure that children using sparklers do so safely i.e. only holding one at a time, wearing gloves, disposing safely. Do not give sparklers to children under five.
Dispose sparklers into a bucket of water
If you require any further Fire Safety advice please contact me on the number below, e-mail me or pop in to your nearest Fire Station.
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