Celebrating bonfire night with some toffee apples, warm drinks and a firework or two is great fun for the whole family. But mixing fire, explosives and darkness can create potential hazards that result in over 4,000 people visiting A&E each year for firework-related injuries. Here are 5 easy tips that will help you to enjoy the warm fires, colourful explosions and dazzling sparklers without anyone getting hurt!
Wear reflective clothing
If you’re planning on walking to your local fireworks display, make sure motorists can see you! A reflective vest or hi-vis jacket for bonfire night is a cheap and easy way to prevent drivers from missing you (check out our hi-vis vest family pack, which will keep everyone safe) and cool bits of kit like an LED armband will make you even more visible on darker nights – plus the kids will find the flashing lights very cool!
Get everyone nicely wrapped up on bonfire night, even if it’s a mild one. Little ones especially can feel the cold much quicker than adults, so stick on a woolly hat, pair of gloves and a decent coat to prevent coughs and sniffs the morning after!
Stand well back
If you’re setting off fireworks in the garden or plan on getting rid of some old wood with your own bonfire, then leave yourself plenty of space. Don’t build fires that can’t be put out with a garden hose or a few buckets of water and make sure there’s at least 20 feet / 5 metres between your fire and your house, shed, trees or fence. We’d recommend going to see a public firework display that will have support from the local fire brigade rather than attempting to build your own bonfire.
If you’re setting fireworks off, crouch down to next to them rather than leaning over them and walk away from them calmly once lit, don’t run or jog. This handy Energiser LED head torch will keep you to see the fuse while keeping your hands free!
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: NEVER return to a lit firework that has failed to go off and NEVER try to light more than one firework at once.
Check before lighting
If you’ve built up your bonfire and are ready to get it going, give it a thorough check before striking your match. Animals like cats and hedgehogs may be sheltering in your well-built structure, and adventurous kids may even crawl inside what looks like an exciting den. Grab your torch and check inside your bonfire thoroughly before lighting it up!
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: Never use flammable liquids to accelerate your bonfire – dry wood and kindling will burn perfectly well without the need for liquids like petrol, lighter fluid or white spirits.
Have a bucket at the ready
Writing your name with a sparkler is great fun for all ages, but leaving the white-hot bit of metal lying around afterwards is asking for trouble! Grab a Halfords heavy-duty bucket, fill it with sand or water, put it somewhere easily accessible and make sure all dead sparklers end up in it. You can even throw the bucket on your small bonfire if it starts getting a bit too hot for your liking!
We hope you have a great, and most importantly safe, bonfire night!