Stay Alert - Don't get hurt - Fireworks Safety
We can easily get engrossed in the fun and excitement of fireworks and unintentionally have less regard for the correct safety procedures that are required.
After all, they’re no toy. Think of them more like a box of gunpowder wrapped in pretty colours and pictures. Despite being told about the correct safety techniques, some people still don’t listen. It’s this that causes accidents - not only for themselves, but for others who may get injured too. However, used correctly and safely, you will have a great time, every time. Remember, you can buy fireworks to celebrate any occasion whether it be Bonfire Night, Diwali, New Year’s Eve. Just follow these simple steps to make it fun and safe; after all, there’s no better way to celebrate than with a bang!
- 18+ only – Only persons over the age of 18 can buy, handle and light fireworks. Not only is this for the safety of younger children, but it’s a compulsory law and this is strongly enforced within our shop and online. You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90. Definitely not a risk you want to take.
- Plan your own display – Before you come to buy fireworks, you should make sure that where you intend to light your fireworks is safe. This includes no trees overhanging where the fireworks will be lit, otherwise they’ll hit the trees above. And make sure you know the distance between where your firework(s) will be placed and where your spectators will be. We have multiple fireworks for different spaces - some for smaller 8 metres gardens to those larger 25 + metres spaces.
- Read the instructions – Fireworks have safety information printed on them which must be followed. This includes the best way to store your firework safely, the appropriate firing distance, how to secure your firework, and location of the fuse is to light the firework.
- Secure your fireworks – Securing your fireworks is crucial. As the firework is firing it is getting lighter with each shot and more unstable; this makes them more prone to falling over. So before lighting any firework, ensure it is stable on a flat surface and won’t fall over. When we light fireworks, we prefer to place wooden stakes in the ground, either side of the firework, and then wrap duct tape around to secure the stakes to the firework, but always making sure the fuse is visible. Some fireworks recommend being partially buried and this is indicated by a bury line on the packaging. When doing this, we choose to place a carrier bag or clingfilm around the base so the fuse underneath doesn’t get damp.
- Keep away from any source of heat – When storing your fireworks you must ensure they are kept away from heat / open flames / hot surfaces / sparks - this includes cigarettes. All it takes is a spark from the ash and your firework can light!
- Lighting the firework – Light the firework at arm’s length and don’t ever put your head over the item in case the firework unexpectedly goes off. Once the firework is lit, there’s no need to run away. Running could lead to you falling over, especially when it’s dark outside. Instead, walk away at a reasonable pace. The fuse on fireworks allows approximately 7 seconds before the firework starts, giving you plenty of time to get to a safe viewing distance. If anything, once you've planned where your firework(s) will be, practice the path you will take retiring from the firework.
- Don’t return – A mistake people make is that they’ll immediately return to a firework when it hasn't fired after being lit. You shouldn’t return to a firework for a good 5-10 minutes after it’s been lit. It you return straight away, there's a chance it may have been a slow fuse and then, bang, it’s gone off! There’s no need to rush, the firework won’t vanish. But if there is a fault with your firework, we can replace it as long as you have taken good care of the firework beforehand. You should also wait after your firework has finished just in case there’s a tube that hasn’t fired. Better safe than sorry!
- Don’t pocket fireworks – Do not, under any circumstances, place fireworks in your pocket no matter their size.
- Sparklers – They may be fun for children but they’re also dangerous. It is recommended that no-one under 5 years should hold a sparkler. When holding a sparkler you should hold the metal handle at the bottom and have your arm extended outwards. Don’t wave sparklers near people, the last thing they need is to be hit by a very hot metal stick! Once you’ve finished with a sparkler, immediately place them in a cold bucket of water for safe disposal.
- Have fun – Finally, have fun and enjoy fireworks with your family and friends. Just remember to follow all safety tips. Providing you’re safe and sensible, fireworks are exciting and you will have a fabulous time.