In the Autumn and Winter months we have three main celebrations to enjoy, Halloween, Christmas and of course Bonfire Night. Bonfire night is a great time to enjoy time in your garden with friends, and many of us choose to do this instead of paying to attend a local organised event.
However, with bonfire night comes plenty of potential safety issues when you’re holding your own party, so it’s important to be as safe as possible so everyone can have a great time without the potential for injury.
Here are our bonfire night safety tips.
Pets are very sensitive to bonfire night and some of them absolutely tremble in terror when fireworks start to get let off in this season. Your first priority should be keeping your pets inside. If you are holding a party, keep your pets in a room with water and a litter tray ensuring the room has a sign on it telling people not to enter.
Visit them regularly and let the dog out frequently for toilet breaks. It is not recommended you have fireworks in your garden if you have pets, as the loud noises may well scare them. If your pets are particularly affected by bonfire night it is advised you do not hold a party at all and spend time with your pets reassuring them and keeping them calm – only hold a party if your pets are relaxed during this time of year.
If you want fireworks and have pets, consider asking a family member or friend who is staying in on bonfire night to look after your pets for you, or house them at a cattery for kennels for the night.
As it will inevitably be dark when you have your party, ensure you have lots of lighting to prevent any guests tripping or falling over garden furniture, slabs or paving. Use candles, fairy lights, solar lights and battery powered lanterns paying particular attention to lowered areas, steps or ponds.
If you do have a pond consider covering it over if it does not contain fish, particularly if there are children attending.
If you plan to use sparklers in your garden, it is important you do so safely as they can be incredibly dangerous and can get up to 6 times as hot as cooking oil.
Store sparklers in a cool, dry place in a closed box away from children or pets
Always wear gloves when holding a sparkler
Light one sparkler at a time
Never hold pets, babies or children when using a sparkler
Have a bucket of cold water ready to plunge used sparklers into, they stay hot for a long time after use
Always supervise children using sparklers and do not give sparklers to under 5’s
Ensure children are wearing gloves when using sparklers
Ensure children are not wearing particularly loose clothing, or items which hang, they may catch on fire
Always ensure anyone using a sparkler is holding it at arm’s length away from the body
Never run when using a sparkler
If you plan to use fireworks in your garden, make sure you do so safely as they can cause horrific injuries or destruction when not used properly.
Check the fireworks you buy are suitable for your garden size, check they conform to British Safety Standards
Check the display area does not have any trip hazards or flammable hazards within it
Read the instructions for the fireworks well in advance of the display
Do not try to light or use fireworks when under the influence of alcohol
Check neighbours don’t mind you using fireworks
Use a metal box to store fireworks in and have a torch, bucket of water, protective equipment, first aid kit, bucket of sand or soil, board (flat bottomed fireworks) and sturdy support for nailed on fireworks
Ensure everyone is stood well back from the display area
Light fireworks at arm’s length
Run from the firework when it has been lit and keep well back
Never go back to light a firework if it does not go off
Keep the firework storage box closed between fetching fireworks
Keep an eye on all children during the display, ensuring they are safely away from the fireworks
Never ever walk around holding a firework or strap items to fireworks
Always follow the retailers instructions, manufacturer’s instructions and the safety advice from your local fire service.
If you want to have a bonfire in your garden on bonfire night, stay safe and follow these tips:
Only have a bonfire if your garden is big enough and consider your garden’s size and the proximity to flammable hedges, shrubs, trees and fences when building the bonfire
Speak to your neighbours before having the bonfire to check they don’t mind
Burn dry materials and avoid damp materials which can spit or put out a lot of smoke
Build the bonfire well away from any sheds, trees, shrubs, fences or anything potentially flammableUse your common sense – if the weather is particularly windy the bonfire may not be a good idea
Check there are no cables above, around or underneath the bonfire
Never use petrol or chemicals to get the fire started
Keep buckets of water or a strong hose nearby
Never leave the fire unattended
Ensure pets and children are kept well away from the bonfire
Never throw sparklers, fireworks or explosives onto the fire
At the end when it has died out, soak the dying embers with water
Ensure the bonfire is well away from your property as it poses a hazard when lit and also when it has gone out and it is giving off fumes
Remember, you’re going to have an amazing party! Have fun and stay safe, so you remember your bonfire party for all the right reasons.
For more information on keeping your garden safe on bonfire night, take a look at the following links:
Pet Safety – http://www.vets-now.com/pet-owners/pet-care-advice/bonfire-firework-safety-pets/
Bonfire Night Safety – http://www.bonfire-night-safety.co.uk/