How to Enjoy a Safe Bonfire Night Party at Home

As November the 5th comes around again, many of us will be turning our thoughts to how we can best celebrate the failure of one Mr Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators in their long-infamous attempt to blow up Parliament along with its inhabitants!

Nowadays, ‘Bonfire Night’ is less political than perhaps it once was, but no less enthusiastically enjoyed by many of us as a result. Unfortunately, every year many of us will need to visit the local accident and emergency ward or call out the fire brigade. Here are our top tips on how to conduct a safe, fun party on Bonfire Night this November 5th.

  1. Make sure you have the space. If you only have a small garden consider attending a formal event locally but, if you are set on a party at home, allow plenty of room around the fire (if you are having one). If you possess a fire pit you might use that instead of a purpose built bonfire.

  2. If building a bonfire from scratch, make sure to clear the base of vegetation and build a brick or stone surround to prevent the fire spreading. Are sure it is a good distance from trees, shrubs and sheds and don’t make it too big! Start the fire with a base of barbecue briquettes and fire lighters, then light kindling and then larger, dry sticks, wood, etc. Consider wind speed and direction and make sure your fire isn’t going to cause a nuisance to neighbours.

  3. Always keep a few buckets of water and sand nearby so you can extinguish a fire or smouldering firework if necessary. If you need to use a bucket (or hose pipe) always aim at the base of the fire. If you have a hosepipe, keep it ready.

  4. Keep everyone away from the fire and from the place designated for the firing of any fireworks.

  5. Have only one person responsible for handling and lighting fireworks. That person should not be mixing alcoholic drink with the handling of explosives! Keep all fireworks in a dry, safe place away from the fire and other fireworks and remove them one at a time, before firing. Use gloves.

  6. Keep pets and small children safe indoors. Many pets get very scared by fireworks, so be considerate.

  7. Always brief children of the dangers of fire and fireworks, even sparklers, which can cause nasty burns, some time after they’ve been extinguished. Have them wear non-flammable gloves and if they are wearing fancy dress, make sure it is flame retardant.

  8. Have an area prepared for the launch of fireworks. Clay pots with a narrowing neck, buried in soil, are a good option for launching rockets accurately and vertically. If a firework doesn’t launch, don’t approach it. Isolate the area and at the end of the night douse it with the water from the buckets before disposing of them safely in a bucket of water.

  9. Moderate alcohol consumption, never allow others to bring or at least light their own fireworks separately and, of course, never throw fireworks – or use them inside!

  10. Never use an accelerant such as petrol or flammable liquid. The fumes from petrol are very explosive and just a small amount can cause unexpected and fatal consequences.

  11. Have an understanding of how to treat burns before the party and maybe invest in a small first aid kit aimed at treating burns and eye injuries. Forewarned is forearmed and a little preparation might just make all the difference if an accident occurs.

Most of all, do have fun this Bonfire Night.

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