Essex County Fire and Rescue Service deliver fireworks night safety message

FIREWORKS night is full of excitement and fun but also brings with it great risk. By taking a few simple precautions you can make sure that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable evening. Between 2000 and 2005 there were 6673 people injured by fir

FIREWORKS night is full of excitement and fun but also brings with it great risk.

By taking a few simple precautions you can make sure that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable evening.

Between 2000 and 2005 there were 6673 people injured by fireworks, with the highest number of those injuries occurring at private parties.

Most accidents occur at private firework parties which have become more popular in recent years, but it is easy to make sure that your display stays as safe as possible.


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Senior divisional officer Paul Bowers, of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service community safety, said: "Firstly take some care setting up for your display and make sure that you have equipped yourselves with a couple of buckets of water, a bucket of soft earth to put spent fireworks in, a torch to read instructions by and a slow burning firework lighter to light the touch papers with.

"It's important to take great care when making and lighting a bonfire, they can easily spread out of control and have the potential to cause great harm to those near them unless they are properly built and properly looked after.

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"Never use petrol, or any kind of accelerant, to light or fuel a fire. Always ensure that the fire is a safe distance from your home or anything else it could set light to, for example sheds or a fences.

"Garden fires should only be made up of garden refuse and no one should burn anything other than natural garden products. Plastic and rubber burn in an unpredictable way and create extremely noxious fumes and are not suitable for residential areas.

"Make sure that all fireworks have passed the British Safety Standards and are set off a safe distance from all spectators, buildings, sheds and fences. People should only light one firework at a time and remember do not return to a firework that hasn't gone off because it could yet go up.

"It is also important to stay safe with sparklers, they should never be given to a child under five years old, must always be held at arms length and in a gloved hand. Once they have gone out put sparklers in bucket of water or sand. Sparklers burn five times hotter than cooking oil and must be treated with care.

"Make sure all animals are kept indoors and that young children are under constant adult supervision.

"Always follow the fireworks code and you won't go too far wrong, it is a few simple rules all of which are just common sense really.

"If you follow these simple rules then you can have a safe and enjoyable November 5 without having to call us in to get you out of trouble."

The Firework Code:

* Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114

* Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks

* Keep fireworks in a closed non-flammable box

* Follow the instructions on each firework

* Light them at arm's length, using a taper

* Stand well back

* Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn't gone off, it could still explode

* Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them

* Always supervise children around fireworks

* Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves

* Never give sparklers to a child under five

* Keep pets indoors

* Don't set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11pm

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