Stay safe during firework and bonfire displays at home

Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to stay safe if they are holding their own firework or bonfire displays.

The Service would always recommend going to an official display as it is safer, but people should take notice of some simple safety measures if they are holding their own display in the coming days.

Fireworks are fun but pose a danger if mishandled or misused. Make sure you follow manufacturer instructions carefully and read them in the day or by torchlight, never by a naked flame.

Never go back to a firework once it has been lit, and never throw a firework or put it in your pocket. Light fireworks at arm’s length, using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick, and stand well back. Collect fireworks after a display with care. Douse them with water and dispose of them properly in a metal container.

Sparklers can reach temperatures of 100°C, so stay safe by ensuring you always wear gloves, preferably leather ones. Supervise children with sparklers and don’t give one to children under the age of five. Hold sparklers at an arm’s length, and don’t wave them near other people. Put used sparklers into a bucket of sand or water.

Bonfires are a hazard at any time of the year. Make sure you build them well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs. Never use flammable liquids to light the fire such as paraffin or petrol, and don’t burn furniture, aerosols or bottles. Never leave a bonfire unsupervised – especially around children. Pour water on embers before leaving.

And always remember to have a bucket of water, garden hose or fire extinguisher ready and on standby, and never drink alcohol when in charge of a bonfire or fireworks display.

Lisa Bryan, Prevention Manager at Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We encourage everyone to celebrate safely and it’s always safest to attend official firework displays. Home displays if not done correctly have the potential to injure people but also to set fire to nearby properties.

“If holding a home display, please take extra care and make sure children are at a safe distance during the display and be mindful of pets as this time of year can be unsettling for them.”

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