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Despite annual safety warnings, fireworks 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 during 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 fireworks display 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.
Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks, and the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used (and remember, alcohol and fireworks don't mix!). Children and young people should be supervised, and they should watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance.
Follow these top 10 tips for a safer fireworks display:
- Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and check the time you can legally set off fireworks
- In England, Scotland, and Wales, only fireworks carry the UKCA mark. In the case of Northern Ireland, look for the UKNI symbol. You may also see the UKNI mark along with the UKCA symbol. Keep your fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time
- Read and follow the instructions on each firework, using a torch if necessary
- Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
- Never return to a firework once it has been lit
- Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
- Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
- Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
- Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are safe before leaving
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30 November 2023
05 September 2023