Stay safe this Bonfire Night

Stay safe this Bonfire Night by following advice issued by The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)

Published: Tuesday, 30th October 2018


Bonfire Night is one of the highlights of the British autumn, with firework displays having long played a central part in the fun.

While fireworks can be captivating, they also pose certain risks if due care is not taken. According to St John Ambulance, thousands of people across the UK visit A&E for the treatment of fireworks-related injuries every year.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has issued the following guidance on how you can enjoy a safe bonfire night in 2018.

Only buy CE-marked fireworks
All fireworks must carry a CE mark as no other certification counts. This shows that fireworks have to comply to very stringent safety requirements. Also, the instructions must be in English as foreign fireworks without English instructions are banned in the UK.

Certain types of fireworks, found to be dangerous or erratic, were proscribed during the process of bringing fireworks under this single certification. Anything you can currently buy will have been found to be safe. All CE marked fireworks are reasonably safe if the instructions for use are followed but the more spectacular and exciting fireworks should only be seen at organised displays.

Make sure you’re buying from a licensed seller
You should only ever buy fireworks from a licensed seller. Don’t ever buy from a man in the pub, from a white van, or from a market stall. If you want to check whether a shop is licensed to sell fireworks, you can check with your local fire brigade, Trading Standards, or simply ask the shopkeeper to see proof.

Keep pets inside
Animals can be distressed by the loud noises and bright flashes of light on and around 5 November. It’s best to keep them indoors during this period. If a pet is particularly upset with fireworks, then speak to a vet to see if there’s anything that can be done to alleviate the stress.

Follow the instructions
Each firework will have instructions on how to safely use it. The box will also have instructions. Each will advise a safe distance to stand back, which gives an indication of how dangerous the fallout from the firework is.

If you follow the instructions carefully, you’ll have nothing to worry about. All fireworks are tested to make sure they’re safe if the instructions are followed. This applies to even the biggest rockets you can buy for personal use.

And if a firework doesn’t go off as planned don’t go back. Wait until the next morning, and then put it in a bucket of water for 24 hours.”

Take precautions
Make sure that you have a clear path to move away to a safe distance after lighting the fuse – bearing in mind it will be dark. You also need to make sure your garden is big enough to allow to you to get to the specified safe distance.

Those setting them off should wear protective gloves and goggles.

Keep fireworks away from children
It is illegal for children under 18 to be in possession of adult fireworks. There are four categories of fireworks: F1 ‘indoor’ can be bought by those aged 16 years and over; F2 and F3 “adult” can be bought by over 18’s and F4 are for professional use only.

Many of the problems caused by fireworks are the result of irresponsible and inconsiderate misuse by children who get hold of fireworks through illicit means. Do your best to ensure that any under-18s in your care do not have access to fireworks.  Sellers and under-18s found to be in breach of the law will be fined.

Just attend an organized display
Maybe the best piece of advice is to save yourself the trouble and expense by just attending an organized display. At such events, spectators are kept at a safe distance while qualified individuals do the work – minimising risk for everyone.

More importantly, it is likely to be a better experience for you and any firework-loving children. Organised displays are much more exciting to watch as they tend to cost many thousands of pounds and use fireworks that are not available to the general public.

Councillor Katherine Dunne, Lead Member for Communities and Workforce at Hounslow Council said:

“We welcome this advice from the CTSI on how to keep safe this Bonfire Night.  Every year there are many avoidable accidents across London so we would urge the public to take note of the guidance. We would also request that everyone respect the curfew of 12 midnight for setting off fireworks this Bonfire Night, so that neighbourhoods are not disturbed unreasonably. We respectfully ask that that revellers observe this curfew out of consideration for your neighbours.”

For further information on fireworks in Hounslow please see HERE.

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