Bonfire night is one of the most anticipated events of the year, it essentially marks the start of the holiday season. Kids and grown-ups alike love the occasion, but if you’re not fully aware of the potential hazards, you put yourself and your loved ones at risk. Each year, hundreds of firework-related accidents happen due to illegal products, improper handling, and a simple lack of common sense. We know you don’t want to be one of those cases this year, so Firescape has made a list of all the best bonfire safety tips to help keep you from harm.
Before you start doing anything, we strongly suggest you carry out a risk assessment of your surroundings and anybody in the vicinity. Check the fireworks themselves first, as if they aren’t fully compliant with the relevant regulations than there is a much higher chance of them causing an accident. If they look like knock-offs or seem to have any fault whatsoever, don’t use them, it’s not worth the risk. Additionally, be aware of anything around you that could potentially catch on fire from straying embers, such as shrubbery, garden fences, etc.
It’s not just objects you need to watch out for, people can prove just as much of a risk, if not more so, than inanimate items. You should account for everyone in attendance, making special note of those in charge of lighting the fireworks and others, such as small children. After you have judged the risks and come up with ways to prevent them, (we’ll help you with that in a moment), you then need to inform everyone of your chosen measures. That’s not the end of it, though, as you should constantly be observing to see whether your tactics are working or not.
Know the Firework Code
Whenever you are going to an event or occasion where fireworks are present, there are several steps you should follow, known as the Firework Code. We’ve already covered one of them, ensuring they are registered to the BS 7114 standard, but there is a lot more you need to know. Some of them seem quite obvious, such as ensuring you plan your display well in advance of the actual date and storing your fireworks in an organised fashion somewhere safe. If you have fully compliant products, they should come with detailed instructions which the code recommends you read. The placement of fireworks is also vital; they should always be angled away from any people or structures so that any mishaps don’t end up causing grief. You should always light the firework at arm’s length and then stand well away from it. Don’t try to return or try to re-light the firework if it ends up a dud.
For more firework safety tips, you can check out our blog.
Take Care When Building the Bonfire
If you mess up when making the Bonfire, the consequences can be disastrous. The first thing to do is check for anything near the site that could be a fire risk, such as wooden fences or sheds. Don’t let any stray cables or wires get anywhere near it and, ideally, you should position the Bonfire at least five times its height from your home.
This is more of a courtesy concern than a safety one, but you should let your neighbours know if you are planning a bonfire. Not only will they be much less likely to complain, but it’ll also make it easier to carry out the safety preparations with them. If you want to try to minimalize the impact it might have on your neighbours, organise the Bonfire at a time and date convenient for them, ideally when they’re not at home.
When you start to build it, only use dry material for the burning, as anything damp will cause a lot more smoke. Finally, and this may sound a little obvious, but never use petrol or any other flammable chemicals to start it, as this will make the fire spread quickly and could lead it to going out of control.
Our last section will detail a few things that might seem like common sense but are quite easy to forget about if you don’t pay attention. If you have a garden hose, keep it to hand, or have a bucket of water close by in case of an emergency. Pets should be kept inside, or at least well away from the Bonfire, as the commotion is likely to aggravate them. Similarly, any children should be under constant supervision and be told all the safety information in advance. If you’re using fireworks with the Bonfire, don’t throw them into it, you’re just asking for trouble. When you’re finished, spray water on any embers or burnt material to ensure it doesn’t reignite.
Beat the Bonfire with Firescape
Of course, you can take all the preventative measures in the world and still not be 100% safe from a breakout. In such a situation, you need a quick extinguishing solution, which could be hard to come by if you’re well away from the house. That’s why Firescape has made the revolutionary Spray-safe, for when a bucket of water just won’t cut it. It the smallest aerosol extinguisher out there, with just 200ml of liquid in every bottle. There are no mechanical parts, so there is no risk of malfunction. It is also one of the eco-friendliest options out there, leaving behind no toxic residue, which means it’s easier to clean up too. To find out more about, simply head on over to our homepage for additional information, plus video demonstrations, and more.
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