RESIDENTS are being urged by Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) to think twice about having their own firework celebrations at home this year, but to take extra caution if they do.
This year, following last year’s cancellations due to the pandemic, there are numerous organised firework displays but many people will again want to celebrate at home.
The fire service says, whichever way the day is celebrated, it is vital people take care around fireworks, especially if letting them off in gardens.
Fireworks are fun but also extremely dangerous.
In the last ten years, since 2011, HWFRS has attended 234 incidents on November 5, including 80 fires, more than 100 false alarms and over 40 non-fire incidents needing help. The busiest stations for call-outs were Wyre Forest, Worcester, Hereford, Bromsgrove and Redditch.
Here are some fireworks and bonfire safety tips.
- Those using fireworks should plan their display in advance and only buy fireworks from a reputable supplier and items marked with British Standard Kitemark BS 7114.
- Fireworks should be kept in a closed metal box, taken out one at a time and instructions should be read by daylight or torchlight – never by a naked flame.
- Once lit, at arm’s length with a taper, people should stand well back and never go back to a firework, Naked flames, including cigarettes, should be kept away from fireworks.
- Children should be supervised at all times and sparklers – which should only be given to children five and over – should be placed in a bucket of water straight after use.
- Pets should be kept indoors with curtains closed.
- People letting off fireworks should not drink alcohol and they should not be put in a pocket or thrown.
- People need to consider if their garden is big enough for a safe bonfire and never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire.
- Fires – of a manageable size – should be built clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences, hedged and overhanging branches.
- They should also be built so they collapse inwards as they burn and the structures should be checked before lighting it – to check its construction is still sound and that there are no animals or children inside.
- Bonfires should be lit after the firework display unless sufficiently far away as stray sparks can fall into fireworks.
- Never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries as they could explode, do not leave them unattended and keep a bucket of water or hosepipe nearby.
- Damp fires down with water at the end of an evening or if you have to leave it.
A list of community fireworks events, along with safety advice, is available at hwfrs.org.uk – the fire service’s website.