Posted: Saturday 4th November 2017
Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service advise people to take precaution when it comes to firework safety.
In October and November last year, our crews attended a number of incidents related to bonfires or fireworks across the county.
It’s best to leave bonfires and fireworks to the professionals: Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service recommend you attend an organised display, but if you are going to build a bonfire or create a display in your garden, make sure you follow some simple rules.
- Check the bonfire before lighting to ensure no animals or small children are nearby
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies
- Don’t have a fire near fences, trees and buildings: as a rule of thumb, the bonfire should be a minimum of five times its height from property
- Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going as it may get out of control quickly
- Don't burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint - many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury
- Only burn dry material: damp material causes more smoke
- Don’t ever leave a fire unattended
- If a bonfire gets out of control, move a safe distance away and call the Fire and Rescue Service immediately by dialling 999
For fireworks, always follow the Firework Code safety rules:
- Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
- Never give sparklers to a child under five
- Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 or CE marked
- Keep fireworks in a closed box
- Follow the instructions on each firework
- Light them at arm's length using a taper
- Stand well back
- Never go back to a lit firework
- Never put fireworks in your pocket
- Never throw fireworks
- Keep pets indoors
Make sure you buy fireworks from a reputable shop and not from anywhere you’re not sure about such as the back of a van or from a temporary, unlicensed market stall.
Hertfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards is monitoring all premises selling fireworks to ensure they are being stored safely, comply with safety standards and are not counterfeit. Trading Standards often use underage volunteers to make test purchases of fireworks to establish compliance with the strict trading laws. Anyone who has information about shops selling fireworks, or any other age restrictive products, to children can report it by contacting Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506. Local companies that need advice should contact Hertfordshire Trading Standards' business advice line on 01707 292429.
Terry Hone, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “For what should be a fun event for the family can on the rare occasion turn into a nightmare when safety precautions aren’t properly followed. We urge people to be responsible for the safety of their loved ones by following all available advice and making sure their bonfire night isn’t an explosive one”
For fire safety advice, go to www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/firesafety.
More information about firework regulations is available on www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law