As the winter fast approaches and the nights are closing in, it’s that time when we all celebrate another season with Guy Fawkes night. We’ve highlighted a few areas that will help to keep you and your customers safe during these events. Whether you’re hosting or attending a fireworks display, these precautions should be considered to help keep you and your property protected.

Key tips for a safe bonfire night. 

  • When purchasing fireworks they should have the product safety marking BS7144 or equivalent and carry a CE mark.
  • Check you have enough space to let off fireworks safely. A rocket can reach speeds of up to 150mph. If the firework is not properly secured at a safe distance away from your audience and local properties they can cause significant damage and injury. A rocket shell can also reach as high as 200 metres.
  • Fireworks must only be lit and handled by responsible adults. The majority of firework related injuries occur at family or private parties. About half of these are to children under the age of 17.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box well away from bonfire or any other sources of heat or fire.
  • Use a torch if reading the instructions in the dark - not a naked flame. Ensure all instructions are read fully.
  • Let fireworks off one at a time. If during your display you notice sparks or embers getting close to you audience or nearby property you may need to abandon the display, never continue in the hope that it will be alright!
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit. Even if it hasn't gone off, it may still explode.
  • GOV UK recommends that you do not use sky lanterns as you have no control of them once they've been set off and could be a danger to local wildlife, neighbouring properties and start fires.
  • If you decide to have a bonfire or beacon, always burn dry material as it produces less smoke. Never burn treated wood, rubber, plastic, foam or paint or use flammable liquids to start the Bonfire, including; aerosol cans, paint tins, batteries, paraffin, petrol or fireworks.
  • Build your bonfire away from buildings, roads, sheds, fences, trees and hedges. If possible try to position the bonfire in an area sheltered from wind. Bonfires should be at least 18m (60ft) away from houses, trees, hedges, fences or sheds.
  • Always have a bucket of water or working hosepipe nearby.
  • Never leave the bonfire unattended and ensure that once it has died down that the embers are extinguished by water to avoid reigniting.

Did you know.......

Sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil, and three sparklers burning generates the same heat as a blow torch. Always ensure that sparklers are plunged hot end into a bucket of water as soon as they have finished burning.

The average cost of a claim on 5th November is £12,053, losses included; embers damaging the property, fireworks being placed through the letterbox and fire damage caused by neighbouring properties.

We hope you enjoy the celebrations!

Source(s): Axa Insurance; Gov UK "Celebrating with bonfires and fireworks - A community guide". NHS Choices "fireworks: The Facts". NHS Choices "Planning a Safe Firework Display". AXA Household claims MI analysis for the month of November 2003-2014