In the UK fireworks are no longer a once a year event.
There was a time when fireworks were pretty much used for only very special events and November 5th Guy Fawkes celebrations.
In 21st century Britain fireworks are often a feature of a birthday, anniversary or wedding celebration; New Year's Eve tends to be a spectacle of noise and light as the next year is welcomed in with a huge bang.
Fireworks are great fun and can provide a wonderful spectacle but we should never be blase around them.
When used to celebrate the July 4 in the USA, November 5 in the UK or the New Year around the world, they add pizazz and can ensure that the event is both memorable and spectacular.
But we must never forget that fireworks can be dangerous, especially in the wrong hands.
If you attend an organised event health and safety issues should have been addressed beforehand. You will still need to exercise a sensible approach though. If the firework display is to be a smaller community or home event, it could be that you will be responsible for making sure that the event goes off without a hitch. Common sense and the advice given in this guide will help your event be safe, as well as fun.
Always purchase fireworks from a reputable supplier. There are so many fake goods on the market these days it is dangerous to buy fireworks from an unknown supplier. Look for well known branded fireworks and make sure that you read the packaging for the manufacturer's storage and usage guidelines. Keep these guidelines in a safe place.
Fireworks need to be stored as recommended by the manufacturer. If you are organising a large firework display you may need a license.
As a general rule fireworks should be stored in:
It is not safe for children to handle and light fireworks. Unless your country has legal age limits set, use your common sense and personal knowledge of the child involved. After all, some teenagers are sensible whilst others are not. Generally it is safer for young people to enjoy watching the display, whilst an adult, or adults, is the person responsible for the display.
Make sure that children are aware of the potential hazards. They should be told never to handle the fireworks, especially once they are lit. Children must not be allowed to run about, close to the fireworks.
Pets and animals
There are always some exceptions to the rules, which means that some pets will be fine around fireworks. On the whole though, this is not true. You will need to ensure that your pets and animals are kept indoors, well away from the fireworks. The light and noise of a firework display can unsettle an animal, make them flee or cause them bodily injury.
If necessary consult your veterinarian about calming medication for your pet to take before the firework display begins.
The firework display
If you are organising a large firework event you will need to check the rules and regulations with your local council. You will need to make sure that the fire service is informed, have stewards and fire extinguishers. Research the exact needs as these will be based on the amount of spectators you expect, the location and the length the display may last.
For smaller home firework displays consider:
If your firework party has included a bonfire ensure that this is left safe and not smouldering dangerously
You will need