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Bonfire Night

bonfire-night-fireworksThe clocks have gone back and the trees are rapidly losing their leaves.

Autumn with its crisp cold mornings and damp foggy days is upon us yet again. Now that Halloween is over the next event to look forward to is 5 November – Bonfire Night.

I love the smell of Bonfire smoke, mixed with the smell of firework powder and baked potatoes and having excited children gasping at pretty displays in the sky. However this is a time of year when accidents can and do happen with alarming regularity as people throw caution to the winds and forget some pretty basic health and safety guidelines.

Did you know that a sparkler reaches 2000°C? That is 20 times the boiling point of water!
Did you also know that firework rockets can travel at up to 150 miles per hour?

Injuries

Every year approximately 1000 people are seriously injured by fireworks, many of them at parties held at home. Most injuries are to the hands and face which can require grafting and lengthy stays in hospital. To avoid injury go to an organised firework display but if you are going to hold a bonfire party at home there are few basic things you should remember to do and follow the firework code:

The Firework Code

Before they explode read the code!

  1. Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
  2. Never give sparklers to a child under 5
  3. Buy fireworks marked BS 7114
  4. Keep fireworks in a closed box
  5. Follow the instructions on each firework
  6. Light them at arm’s length using a taper
  7. Stand well back
  8. Never go back to a lit firework
  9. Never put fireworks in your pocket
  10. Never throw fireworks
  11. Keep pets indoors

And Don’t Forget…

  • Don’t drink alcohol if you are setting off fireworks.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks.
  • Only take fireworks out of their box one at a time.
  • Read firework instructions by torchlight, and never a naked flame.
  • Keep a bucket of water handy. Used fireworks should be collected after the display with care. Douse with water, bury or place in a metal container.

What to do if you get hurt

If you are injured by a firework the important thing is to cool the area immediately with cold water, and to keep cooling for a minimum of 10 minutes. This takes the heat out of the wound and prevents further “cooking” of the skin. Remove jewellery where possible and clothing if it hasn’t stuck. Then wrap the area in clingfilm to keep it clean and protected and seek medical advice.

Lastly, Have Fun But Remember to BE SAFE, NOT SORRY

For further reading:
http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/consumer-issues/docs/f/10-1038-fireworks-safety-media-toolkit

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