Fireworks are an indispensable part of any celebrations, whether its Bonfire night or New Years Eve; Fireworks are a must to make the event more electrifying! No doubt, watching fireworks is great fun and entertaining. It can be one of the most exciting nights for the whole family. Sadly sometimes firework celebrations end in painful injuries for a few people, including very young children. Have you ever wondered why these incidents take place? This is what happens when safety measures are ignored.
Good News! We’ve got some valuable and necessary information for you that you definitely need to know before arranging or carrying out fireworks at bonfire night or at any other celebration, so they go ahead with safety.
The first thing that you should keep in mind if you are thinking of using fireworks as part of your celebrations, that there are certain laws that are significant to abide by for all UK residents. Yes, it’s true! You have to obey some rules and regulations to carry out fireworks at bonfire night. So let’s check some rules and regulations before moving to the next part of the blog post.
1. Choose the right fireworks.
If you are hosting your own firework display at home or going to a gathering, make sure the fireworks you buy are suitable for home or public use. Plus also check that they are marked with European CE standards. Do not choose illegal fireworks and also don’t forget to store the fireworks correctly as per the instructions.
2. It is illegal for under 18’s to buy fireworks. Shopkeepers and retailers will refuse to sell to people under 18 and if needed will ask for proof of age if there is any doubt. Also, make sure that you only buy fireworks over the counter from reputable retailers because it is illegal to buy fireworks from unregistered premises.
3.Always use fireworks correctly; fireworks should never be thrown or launched incorrectly. Keep them the correct distance away from spectators at all times to ensure everyone is safe. It is illegal to set off fireworks, in the street or public place
4. It’s also illegal for a person of any age to possess a category four firework until and unless you are a professional display organizer.
5. You have to be very careful with the timings as Government has made some restrictions on timings. So, don’t light fireworks after 11 pm. It is allowed until midnight on 5 November, 1 am on New Year’s Eve, Diwali or Chinese New Year.
If you want to be able to provide alcohol at your event or you think you’ll be playing music or serving hot food and drinks beyond 11 pm, you’ll need to apply to the local authority for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN – this will cover you for up to 500 attendees). A TEN must be submitted at least 10 working days before the start of your event.
Even if you do not require a TEN, it is advisable to still notify the council of your event.
Secondly, find an ideal site for a firework display. Make sure it is big enough, has sufficient access and is clear of overhead obstructions like power lines and trees. The space you will need for your display depends both on the number of people you wish to be able to attend and the type of fireworks you want to use.
Thirdly, to make your event successful and more fun, you need to arrange some staff or volunteers to help you with everything from setting up and firing the fireworks, through to entry management, stewarding and clearing up afterwards. You’ll need to meet with all your volunteers before the event to make sure they’re aware of their roles and responsibilities and what to do in an emergency situation or if things go wrong.
Now comes setting fireworks off. For a back garden party one person should be in charge of the fireworks. He should read the instructions in daylight and don’t drink any alcohol until your fireworks are over. On the night you will need…
1. A torch
2. A bucket of water
3. Eye protection and gloves
4. A bucket of soft earth to put the fireworks in
5. Suitable supports and launchers if you’re setting off Catherine wheels or rockets
For an organised display run by eg. schools, pubs, village communities etc then check out this handy guide – Click here
Consider your neighbors; make sure they know the fireworks are happening so they can make any preparations they wish to. And if you are a pet owner you should keep them indoors during a home fireworks display because many animals find the noise of fireworks scary.
When it comes to alcohol, running a bar is something that many community groups consider as a potential fundraiser at their fireworks display. Either running a bar or allowing spectators to bring alcohol onto the site adds complications and risk to the event and for community family fireworks displays, it is something that you might wish, on reflection, to avoid.
If you keep all these safety measures and the law’s in sight and follow the instructions and advice above, no one can stop you from having a safe and sound fun Firework night!