Firework safety is a precaution for all to consider. For the past few centuries UK citizens have been launching projectiles that explode high in the air on both 5th November and 31st December for Guy Fawkes and New Years. Much like Chinese lanterns, it seems there is no end to the foolishness that could see our neighbour’s houses set on fire for a short moment of blissful excitement.
While for two nights of the year we are pretending to be arsonists, it is important to remember that these two national events while immersed with much danger – with alcohol too, are fun evenings to enjoy. How do we stay safe with so much gunpowder and plot in the air? How do we remember how to store fireworks and be safe and watch our children with fireworks after one too many post Halloween vodka punches?
Clearly firework safety has to be planned well in advance and it all begins with the purchase and buying of fireworks from the shop initially. Parents / adults have to ensure fireworks are in a safe environment at all times but most related knowledge with regards firework safety in the home and outdoors is down to common sense.
Firework Safety Tips: From The Shop Floor
Did You Know… There are laws pertaining to the sale of fireworks and even more laws for those who manufacture them, store, transport and again store them for sale and present them on the shop floor.
For retailers the task is no mean feat. Staff need to adhere to specific rules, some of which are; fireworks must be contained within a separate building, probably for insurance purposes. Many supermarkets hire freight containers that are used on the back of trucks and on cargo ships, as they are made from metal, cannot be easily set alight and have a gigantic lock on the front and are secure.
Indeed, at all times fireworks must be locked away, even when in sight. On the shop floor fireworks must be sealed in a glass container or with empty boxes only on show. A shop assistant can only sell fireworks to those of a legal age, like alcohol, Big Rockets, Catherine Wheels and Fountains cannot be sold to children, not even sparklers – the most lethal of them all.
– Not all fireworks are legal. Most premises require a license to sell fireworks. Check the fireworks you are buying are legal, within their sell by date and not faulty. Avoid if cheap, torn and if are in brown paper they are most likely for use by professional pyrotechnics display companies and too powerful for home garden use.
…To The Home: Firework Safety Tips And ‘Playing’ Safe
Naturally a person in an apartment or two bed semi detached cannot hire a freight container to store their fireworks within. There are however other solutions. Here’s a few tips on how to store fireworks, safety tips on how to handle fireworks and what to do with fireworks during and after they have been activated.
Firework Storage Tips: Gunpowder or the substance used within fireworks to aid in ignition of a rocket or other pyrotechnic is relatively stable in the correct conditions. It is suggested they are stored in a dry place, within a hard container that is not inflammable.
Ff the fireworks get wet they become unstable. Either not functioning and when this happens at the time of setting the fuse alight, the person doing so may become apprehensive and approach the firework while it is in the process of figuring out if it can set the compounds alight for the explosives to work. Creating a dangerous situation.
Fireworks should be stored away from other fuels and an entirely separate building if possible, away from your main home. This would be a locked shed, a garage or a padlocked container in the garden. Waterproof, dry, out of sunlight and again away from children and any flammable objects.
Tips For Handling Fireworks:
Once out of their storage container fireworks are dangerous. Of course you recall waving around a sparkler as a child, haphazardly making shapes in the air seeing blurry trail marks, they are fun but dangerous. Not to be a spoil sport but the high centigrade of heat could damage a person’s skin with a visit to the burns unit, cause blindness and set clothes alight in an instant.
- Wear appropriate clothing, not a plastic shell suit
- Hold sparklers at arm’s length and note that a child’s arm is not very long. Consider holding their arm or judging whether it is suitable for them to partake in such an environment.
- Never ever return to a firework immediately after lighting, having pondered why the process is taking so long to begin. It could explode at any moment. It is best to douse dud fireworks with a water and remove later.
- Have on hand buckets of water and sand, these two methods allow for fireworks to be disposed off safely before you place in the bin.
- Try to ensure fireworks are not used in built up areas.
- Do not point fireworks at people, wave sparklers in people’s faces or near objects and be sure that if a certain firework is to be attached firmly to a structure or embedded in the ground before lighting, that this is exactly what is done.
- Accidents: They happen, have a first aid kit to hand, and a mobile phone. Ensure supervisors are on watch for children, one adult per two children.
- Only open the container of fireworks when near the location and point of release but keep aforementioned container away from the exact ignition area and at the opposite side of the viewing public. Why carry fireworks in a pocket or holdall? Keep them in the safe container until the moment they are required.
Alternatives To Fireworks At Home
Guy Fawkes Night is a long held tradition in the UK, political and fun even if it has slightly detracted from its anti protestant routes – thankfully. If you are considering celebrating, why not visit a public display for Firework’s Night instead? Ensuring a professional company is overseeing events. Or at the very least nominate someone to be organiser of a home event and ensure all safety procedures are adhered too.
Firework safety tips are not endless but most of them do involve a little common sense. They are explosives in small amount but are still very dangerous, can cause harm to a body, set clothes alight, explode unexpectedly or delayed if get damp, can shoot off in different directions if not placed correctly. There are many things that can go wrong with fireworks, however if you ensure the top firework safety tips are in place, an event should run smoothly, even if it is children ’just’ waving sparklers carefully.