Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued safety warnings and advice ahead of Bonfire Night and a weekend of fireworks.
The service recommends attending an official display, but is also offering simple safety measures for those holding their own display in the coming days.
Lisa Bryan, prevention manager for the service, said: “We encourage everyone to celebrate safely and it’s always safest to attend official firework displays.
“Home displays if not done correctly have the potential to injure people but also to set fire to nearby properties.
“If holding a home display, please take extra care and make sure children are at a safe distance during the display and be mindful of pets as this time of year can be unsettling for them.”
Main safety tips from the fire service:
- Make sure you follow manufacturer instructions carefully and read them in the day or by torchlight, never by a naked flame.
- Never go back to a firework once it has been lit, and never throw a firework or put it in your pocket.
- Light fireworks at arm’s length, using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick, and stand well back.
- Collect fireworks after a display with care. Douse them with water and dispose of them properly in a metal container.
- Sparklers can reach temperatures of 100°C, so stay safe by ensuring you always wear gloves, preferably leather ones.
- Supervise children with sparklers and don’t give one to children under the age of five. Hold sparklers at an arm’s length, and don’t wave them near other people. Put used sparklers into a bucket of sand or water.
- Bonfires are a hazard at any time of the year. Make sure you build them well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs.
- Never use flammable liquids to light the fire such as paraffin or petrol, and don’t burn furniture, aerosols or bottles.
- Never leave a bonfire unsupervised – especially around children. Pour water on embers before leaving.
- Always remember to have a bucket of water, garden hose or fire extinguisher ready and on standby.
- Never drink alcohol when in charge of a bonfire or fireworks display.
West Northamptonshire Council is also issuing words of advice relating to firework displays in terms of noise issues for neighbours and communities.
Councillor David Smith, West Northamptonshire Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services, said: “Of course we all want to mark these historical occasions, I would just urge everyone to do so in a considerate way.
“Every year we are contacted by people who have experienced anti-social behaviour in their communities linked with bonfire night.
“Noise nuisance can be very stressful for some people, particularly those with nervous pets, so I’d ask that if people are going to let off their own fireworks, they keep it to a minimum.
“Also, please ensure your children don’t have access to fireworks, as what they might consider a bit of harmless fun can turn out to be very dangerous.
“And if anyone is organising a bonfire, please make sure you keep it well away from other people’s homes and keep it well under control.
“By far the safest and most cost-effective way to enjoy the night is to take part in an organised event with others from our communities.”
Find organised firework events near you here in our Bonfire Night 2021 guide.