Despite the entertainment factor, fireworks can pose a severe threat to you and your loved ones, if not handled properly. It’s good to know a few fireworks safety tips ahead of any big celebration.
One of the most common sights at any fireworks gathering is that of sparklers. For those that don’t know, these are a form of hand-held firework, comprised of metal wire coated in a pyrotechnic composition.
They are common at holidays and celebrations the world over including Bonfire Night in the UK, Independence Day in the US, and Diwali in India.
However, they are huge contributors to the total number of burn-related accidents each year. They are deceptively dangerous and not the toy many believe them to be.
For example, many don’t realise that sparklers should be put out in water or sand the minute you are done with them. This is because they can still be extremely hot even if they aren’t alight.
Children under five should never handle sparklers and those that are older should always be supervised by an adult.
It’s not just the kids you need to watch out for though, as an intoxicated grown-up can be just as dangerous.
Our advice would be to have a specific zone or area where you can facilitate sparkler usage in a controlled environment. Additionally, you need to be careful when preparing them too. Wear gloves to reduce the chance of suffering a burn, and never light more than one in a single instance. Doing so could prompt a flare-up.
Finally, never ignite them indoors, even for a moment. The sparks flying off them can start a fire, and the smoky residue will also stick to your furniture and walls.
Sparklers are the cause of more accidents, but actual fireworks lead to the most severe incidents. To prevent this kind of scenario, you need to properly prepare them and also have a plan should something go awry.
Common sense is a big factor here. Simple things like avoiding open flames near fireworks and not using flammable chemicals to light the bonfire.
Check that your chosen fireworks meet the relevant standards. If they don’t comply with British or European law, you shouldn’t purchase them under any circumstances.
Just because they are cheaper, they aren’t worth the potential risk, as illegal fireworks are the cause of nearly half of all related injuries. Compliant ones will come with detailed instructions and safety precautions, which you should take time to learn and carry out.
The ignition process must be carried out to the letter too.
If you are lighting rockets, ensure they are firmly placed on the ground or fixed on a wall, then aim away from any guests and yourself. When lighting them, position yourself around an arm’s length away from the firework. You should always take a step back once it’s ignited.
If, for some reason, the firework doesn’t go off properly, do not attempt to re-light it, as it could still prove dangerous.
Guests and Neighbours
Whenever you use fireworks, be mindful of those around you and not just in the immediate vicinity. Remember that there is an 11 pm curfew for fireworks, although this is lengthened on special occasions such as Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve.
It’s a good idea to let your neighbours know if you are planning an event involving fireworks. This will not only allow you to discuss any relevant information or precautions you need to take, but it’s simply a courtesy that will hopefully keep you on the Christmas card list.
There is also one group who certainly won’t like the proceedings; pets. Animals typically react poorly when faced with the sound of fireworks, mainly due to fear. Try not to go overboard and unnecessarily aggravate your furry friends.
Keep Safe with LifeSafe
Even if you do take all the preventative measures we’ve covered here, the volatile nature of fireworks means that an incident can happen for even the most prepared individuals.
In this scenario, you need a fast-acting solution that is equally effective. That’s where LifeSafe comes in, with their portable extinguisher the Stay Safe 5-in-1 Fire Extinguisher. It is the UK’s smallest aerosol extinguisher, with a total weight of just 200ml.
It’s even small enough to fit in your kitchen drawers and, thanks to the LifeSafe formula, there is no toxic residue left behind after use.