Despite annual safety warnings, firework celebrations still end in painful injuries for too many people, including very young children.
Yet fireworks can be great fun for families not just on Independence Day, but also Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year.
Injury statistics support the advice that the safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display—far fewer people are injured there than at smaller family or private parties.
But if you’ll be having a firework party at home, you can make the occasion fun and safe for everyone by following the Firework Code, as well as some sparkler and bonfire safety tips.
Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks and the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used (and remember, alcohol and fireworks don’t mix!) Children and young people should be supervised, and watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance.
Follow these top 10 tips for a safer fireworks party:
Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11p.m.
Only buy fireworks that carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time.
Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch to light them if necessary.
Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.
Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
Never use paraffin or gasoline on a bonfire.
Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.
Sparklers are often viewed as being harmless but they burn at fierce temperatures, equivalent to a welding torch.
Follow these top tips for sparkler safety:
It is recommended that sparklers are not given to children under five years old.
Make sure everyone handling sparklers wears gloves.
Hold sparklers at arm’s length while being lit and light them one at a time.
Don’t wave sparklers close to other people.
Never hold a baby in your arms while you are holding a sparkler.
When the sparkler has finished put it in a bucket of cold water.
By following these basic tips, you and your family can have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July.
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