Bonfire night can be a very dangerous affair if the correct precautions are not taken by everyone involved. Here are some handy tips for dealing with the main safety issues, as well as steps to take if accidents do unfortunately occur, from treating burns to stopping bleeding.
- If you are hosting your own firework event, then storing the fireworks in a safe and secure place will make sure that no one can reach them before the event. Store them in a cool and dry box, preferably with a lock if you are around small children, or just immature adults…
- When lighting sparklers, always make sure that gloves are warn, this will prevent burns from the end of the sparkler heating up a little.
- As soon as the sparklers have burnt out, plunge them straight into a bucket of cold water, this will avoid people dropping the hot remaining sparklers into the grass for people to step onto, sparklers can stay hot for a long time!
- Do not take sparklers to public displays, there are simply too many people around that can be caught by the sparks.
- Do not give sparklers to children under the age of five, they just won’t know how to use them correctly.
- Avoid loose fitting clothing when holding a sparkler, you do not want the sparks to catch any material.
- Concerning fireworks, always make sure that they are CE marked and ensure that the area is free of hazards.
- Do not tamper of mess around with the fireworks, just trust that they are made correctly!
- Read the instructions in the daylight, this will save you having to struggle to read them in the dark, make sure your surrounding neighbours also know that you are setting off fireworks, so as you do not scare them.
- Always make sure that there is one clearly identifiable person who is setting off the fireworks.
When setting off fireworks
- Light fireworks at arms length and always stand far back for when they light.
- Never go back to a lit firework, even if it is not really going off, it could still ignite and you do not want to be near when it does!
- Never put a firework in your pocket and keep children under control, you do not want them running close to the fireworks when they are about to go off.
- Never drink alcohol when setting off fireworks or attending a fire work display and always keep guests who are drinking alcohol away from the firework display.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pockets to street parties where alcohol is present.
- Pets hate bangs and flashes and therefore get extremely spooked by fireworks. Always exercise them in day and then ensure that they are inside and safe on bonfire night.
- Lock all doors and draw the curtains, you could also put on the TV or music in order to calm them down.
Treating burns and injuries
If you or someone else if unfortunately involved in an incident with fireworks, then you need to take these steps to deal with the incident effectively.
- Keep calm and cool the burn or scald with cold water for at least ten minutes, this will stop the burn progressing.
- Never rub butter or any oil based cream into the burn.
- Cut away any clothing surrounding the burn, do not rip away the clothing from the burn.
- Take off any tight clothing or jewellery from around the burn, as burnt skin can swell.
- Do not touch the burn or blisters.
- Cover the burn with a clean, smooth non sticky plaster, this will ensure that infection is kept until it can be properly dressed.
- if the burn is larger than a 50p piece, go to hospital.
- If any clothing catches fire, then stop, drop and roll until it has been put out, if this does not work then roll them in heavy material like a carpet.
- If the burn is very serious, or the person is not conscience, then dial 999.
- Finally, do not give the burnt person any food or drink, in case they may need anesthetic.