Bonfire Night can be great fun for the entire family as people across the country light up bonfires and fireworks to mark the foiling of Guy Fawkes’ notorious plot to blow up the British House of Parliament back in 1605. But it is important to ensure that all the fun and excitement of the celebration is not marred by tragedy. Every year people, most often children, suffer serious burns as a result of poor planning, carelessness or the mishandling of fireworks. Whether you are planning to celebrate November 5th in your back garden or at a large public gathering, there are some common sense precautions you can take to keep your family safe from harm.
Bonfires can easily get out of control if not planned well. If you’re building one in your garden, site it well away from buildings, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubbery. Don’t build your stack too high and make sure it’s stable enough that it won’t topple over, sending a shower of sparks over everyone and everything. Never use any type of flammable liquid to start the fire. To avoid excessive smoke, only burn dry materials and ensure that nothing is added to the pile that might produce toxic fumes or explode, like foam-filled furniture or aerosols. Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of water handy just in case and once the fire dies down, thoroughly soak the site with water to prevent the embers from reigniting.
Regardless of whether you are celebrating with family and friends in your back garden or attending a big public bonfire night event, keep everyone well back from the fire. Flying sparks can ignite clothing, and all clothes, even those that are flame retardant, can burn. Talk to your children about fire safety and set some clear ground rules in regard to how close they are allowed to get to the fire. If you are attending a public event, you also need to take precautions to make sure your children don’t get lost in the crowd. Public events, where there is likely to be a fair bit alcohol, may not be appropriate for a family outing; alcohol and fire is a dangerous mix.
Firework displays, the other staple of bonfire night, are another source of safety concerns. Once again, planning is the key to a safe and enjoyable celebration. Fireworks need to be set up in a way that will prevent them from being launched into the spectators or surrounding buildings if they misfire. It’s important to remember that not all fireworks are the same. Each comes with specific instructions on how to use it safely. Always read those instructions in advance and double-check them before lighting the firework. Also ensure that the unused fireworks are stored safely away from sparks, cigarettes, naked flames or anything else that might ignite them. Check the direct.gov.uk website for information on firework safety and the laws governing their use.
With a little planning and forethought, you can enjoy the spectacle that is bonfire night, secure in the knowledge that you have taken all the steps necessary to keep your family safe.
My name is Nisha Sharma, I am the Editor for FireSafetyStore.co.uk. I am a mother of one who loves to write especially about parenting advice, baby products and family advice. It’s always good to hear the point of view from someone with experience. If you would like to find out more information about fire safety products, such as fire blankets, fire extinguisher, or for safety items around the home feel free to visit my site.