Bonfire and firework events are set to take place across North Devon this weekend and Devon and Somerset Fire Service has issued tips on how to stay safe during the firework display period.
Whether you are organising a display for your friends, family or the general public the storage, handling and use of fireworks must be done with the utmost care.
The fire service’s community safety manager Phil Martin is keen to ensure people find a local organised display.
He said: “The majority of accidents happened at private parties. Organised displays will be safer than having a party of your own. Many council websites list the organised displays in their areas, so go online and find one near you. If you do hold your own party, make sure you follow the firework code, which can be found on our website.”
Firework safety checklist
Follow these simple do’s and don’ts to keep safe:
Do’s and Don’ts:
• don’t buy fireworks from anywhere you’re not sure about, like a van or a temporary, unlicensed market stall
• only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 – this is the British Standard that all fireworks should meet (a reputable shop will know this)
• keep fireworks in a closed metal box and take them out one at a time
• follow the manufacturer’s instructions on each firework. Read them by torchlight – NEVER a naked flame
• light fireworks at arm’s length using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick.
• stand back after lighting
• NEVER go back to a firework once lit – it may go off in your face
• keep a bucket of water handy
• used fireworks should be collected after the display with care. Douse with water, bury or place in a metal container
• keep children under control
• keep pets indoors.
Sparklers are fun, but always:
• supervise children with sparklers and never give them to a child under five
• light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
• put used sparklers hot end down into a bucket of sand or water
• other tips on the night
• finally, follow these other rules for a safe night:
• keep pets indoors – most animals get very scared by the lights and noise from fireworks
• never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
• never throw spent fireworks on a bonfire
• take care around bonfires – all clothes, even those labelled ‘low flammability’,