Planning on having Bonfire Night celebrations this year? As firework season gets underway, it’s important to remember that fireworks can be a cause for safety concerns. According to RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), around 1,000 people in the UK visit A&E for treatment from firework-related injury in the four weeks around Bonfire Night, with half of those injuries occurring in under 18’s.
With more and more public displays being canceled this year due to COVID–19 restrictions, many people are hosting their own. If you are celebrating at home, you should consider the health and safety risks of fireworks to keep you and your family safe.
Children should be kept well away from fireworks and enjoy them from indoors or at a safe distance. RoSPA also recommends that you should keep a torch, a bucket of water, eye protection, and gloves handy as well as storing fireworks in a bucket of soft earth to reduce the risk of accidents.
Firework Safety Tips:
- Light the firework at arm’s length
- Never return to a firework once it’s been lit
- Only one person should be in charge of setting off fireworks
- Make sure all flames are extinguished at the end of the event
- Children should wear ear defenders to protect their ears from loud noises
It’s worth noting most local councils and fire and rescue services, like the London Fire Brigade, strongly advise against setting off fireworks in private gardens. This is because there are even higher health and safety risk to people nearby. If you’re giving fireworks a miss this year, why not try some indoor bonfire night activities a go with your child instead?
Sparklers are a staple at any bonfire night and provide sparkly memorable magic for both children and adults. But sparklers remain one of the most dangerous fireworks with their temperatures reaching 20 times hotter than boiling water!
The good news is, you can still enjoy sparklers safely, just remember, it isn’t recommended that they are used by children under 5 years old.
Sparkler Safety Tips:
- Never hold more than one sparkler at a time
- Always wear gloves when holding a sparkler
- Babies and toddlers can wriggle and reach out unexpectedly so avoid holding them when holding a sparkler
- Put the sparkler in a bucket of cold water once it’s finished
- Always light one sparkler at a time
“Historically, around 1,000 people visit A&E for treatment of a firework-related injury in the four weeks around Bonfire Night… Burn injuries can be life-changing, not just for the injured but also their families, as they can leave just as damaging mental scars as they can physical. It’s even more devastating because these injuries can be avoided, through proper firework and bonfire conduct. We want people to understand the dangers, and follow simple safety steps to ensure everyone has an enjoyable, injury-free celebration.”
Sheila Merrill, Public Health Adviser at RoSPA
We recommend talking to your child about the dangers of bonfires so that children can better understand why it’s important to stay safe. If you’re having a bonfire this year, make sure you choose a clear, safe place away from fences, sheds, bushes, trees, and roads. Keep well away from where fireworks are being lit and always make sure children and pets away from the bonfire.
Don’t forget to read up on the UK law on garden bonfires before lighting up.
Bonfire Safety Tips:
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies
- Never leave a bonfire unattended
- Don’t throw any fireworks onto the fire
- Tie back long hair and avoid wearing loose clothing
- Spray the embers with water once the fire has died down to prevent it from reigniting
As part of our ongoing dedication to health and safety, Fennies are proud members of RoSPA. This provides us with useful resources, training, and updates to ensure we are working to high standards of health and safety for children, staff, and parents both at nursery and home.