Preparing for Bonfire Night

Friday, 04 November 2016

Now Halloween is well and truly over, it’s time to turn your attention to bonfire night, especially if you’re planning on hosting your own bonfire or firework display at home.

Safety first

You might want your party to go off with a bang but it’s very important you consider the safety of everyone in attendance as well making sure everyone has a good time. To help, we’ve created a list of our top 10 safety tips:

  1. You need to store your fireworks in a closed box, away from naked flames. In the run-up to the night itself, make sure the box is kept in a cool and dry place, out of the reach of children.
  2. Consider whether your garden is suitable. There are minimum safety distances Preparing for Bonfire Nightguidelines for fireworks and these can vary considerably so you might need to check the packaging before you purchase the fireworks for your display. If your garden is too small you might need to move the party somewhere else.
  3. Make sure you buy your fireworks from a trusted supplier/store. Your fireworks must have the product safety marking BS7114 and carry a CE mark.
  4. If you’re going to be setting off the fireworks, make sure that you don’t drink alcohol until afterwards.  You should use a torch so you can clearly see the fireworks instructions in the dark.
  5. Only set fireworks off one at a time. Never return to one that you’ve lit, even if you think it needs lighting again.
  6. Never pour petrol or paraffin onto your bonfire, and make sure that everyone stays well back.
  7. If smoke from your bonfire could potentially blow onto a nearby road you may need to rethink your plans. You could put people’s lives at risk and face a fine.
  8. Never leave a bonfire unsupervised. You need to wait until its completely extinguished before you head indoors. To stop it reigniting, pour plenty of water on it.
  9. You should never mess around with fireworks as they can be deadly. Throwing a firework is very dangerous and you could be fined £5000.
  10. Children must be supervised at all times, especially when handling sparklers. You should make sure they’re wearing gloves, holding the sparklers at arm’s length and that any long hair is tied back. There needs to be buckets of water within easy reach.

Think about your pets

As well as considering the safety of the people who’ll be attending your party, you need to protect your pets too. If you have rabbits or guinea pigs, it would be worth moving their hutches into your garage. Cats and dogs can become very distressed so should be kept inside in a secure room so they can’t escape. They might benefit from having a radio or TV on in the room to drown out the noise of the fireworks. If you can, have someone sit with them to reassure them that things are okay.

Is your home covered?

Now might be the perfect time to think about your home insurance, especially if your policy has recently lapsed or will before bonfire night. A stray firework could break your window, set your shed or fence on fire, or damage your roof. It could also cause damage to a neighbouring property and you need to make sure that your policy will pay out if someone gets injured.

We hope you have an amazing, accident-free bonfire party that your friends and family will remember for years to come. 

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