Firework night: the one night with a slight exception to the ‘do not play with fire’ rule. However, fireworks are no joke and this does not mean that Health & Safety can be ‘extinguished’. NHS Digital statistics showed that 545 attendances to A&Es across England between 29 October 2016 and 12 November 2016 were caused by fireworks. Take a look at the facts below surrounding fireworks for some tips on how to celebrate firework night safely:
- To buy fireworks you must be an adult over the age of 18 years.
- You can only buy fireworks/sparklers from registered sellers for private use on selected dates in the year; 15th October – 10th November, 26th December – 31st December and the three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year.
- Outside these times, you can only buy fireworks from shops with a special license.
- You should only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time.
- Bonfire night is an exception to the general rule that fireworks must not be let off between 11pm and 7am, on Bonfire night, the cut off is midnight.
- The law says you must not set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places
- Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
- Adults can let off category 2 and 3 fireworks, which are available to the general public in supermarkets. They will normally have ‘Category F2’ or ‘Category F3’ labels on the box.
- Category 4 fireworks can only be used by professionals and are banned for sale for the public.
- Don’t drink alcohol when setting off fireworks
- 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. Even if a firework hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
- Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
- Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
What are the consequences of not following the law?
You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.