Personal Injury

Bonfire Night Safety: Keeping Everyone Safe at Your Display

Estimated read time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, November 04, 2021

Keeping yourself and your kids safe during Bonfire Night celebrations might not be your first thought when there are more exciting concerns – but it should be.

When fire and fireworks are involved, the risk of injury goes up. But these kinds of injuries can be avoided.

Take safety seriously and you can enjoy your Bonfire Night without issue.

Here is our advice for Bonfire Night safety.

Bonfire safety

One of the easiest things to do to help keep yourself and others safe is to keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy so you can react quickly in case of an accident.

Build your bonfire away from anything that could catch fire or be damaged by it – fences, sheds or trees, for example.

Once the fire is lit, never pour any flammable liquid onto it to keep it burning. You risk an uncontrollable flare up or the liquid catching fire all the way to the container, which could cause you serious harm.

Make sure you’re keeping any children and pets at a suitable distance from the bonfire. Supervise them at all times to ensure they’re not getting too close and putting themselves in danger.

When you’re finished with your bonfire, put it out. Pour water on it to extinguish the flames, rather than letting it burn itself out. You never know if it might have a last bit of life in it and flare up while you’re not there.

Firework safety

Fireworks are a traditional part of Bonfire Night – but they can be a dangerous one. In 2018/19, NHS Digital reported that almost 2,000 people went to A&E with injuries linked to fireworks.

But you can enjoy your display if you do it safely.

The first thing to do is only buy fireworks from reputable retailers. Buy those that have the CE mark and keep them in a sealed box away from children.

When you’re lighting them, direct all fireworks away from people and light them at a distance. Make sure children and pets are kept well back from fireworks – it’s probably best to keep pets indoors.

If you’ve lit a firework and it hasn’t gone off, don’t go near it – and definitely don’t pick it up. Although it may look like a dud, it could still explode. You should also not go back to a firework that has been lit for at least 15 minutes, even if it looks like the fuse has gone out.

Make sure you never throw a firework into a bonfire – and direct all fireworks away from an open flame. Pay attention to which way the wind is blowing and take that into account.

General safety

On Bonfire Night, the air can be hazy and you could be easily distracted by the fireworks and flames from bonfires. With the clocks having just changed, darkness sets in earlier too.

All this can make driving riskier than on other nights. So make sure you’re being extra careful when driving on Bonfire Night.

Alcohol may seem like a good idea at the time, but it can play a significant part in injuries. Save the drinks for after the bonfire and fireworks have finished and you’ll make it a safer event.

Finally, don’t forget to follow the rules. In most areas, you can set off fireworks up to midnight on Bonfire Night.

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