How to have a safe bonfire night’s party

Many people love fireworks. But no matter how many official safety warnings are given each year, too many people – including small children – get injured on November 5th, says the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

The safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display, as figures show far fewer people are injured at large displays than at smaller gatherings. But if you’re having a fireworks party at home – whether on Guy Fawkes night, Diwali, New Year’s Eve or Chinese New Year – it’s a good idea to be prepared for accidents. And according to First Aid For Life, that means having a well stocked first aid kit, a bucket of sand, easy access to plenty of water, a fire blanket and a bottle of sterile saline to irrigate eyes (in the event sparks are blown into them).

The first thing to remember is that only adults should deal with setting up, lighting and disposing of fireworks. Here are RoSPA’s 10 top tips to keep your fireworks party guests safe:

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable.
  2. Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time.
  3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.
  4. Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.
  5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
  6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
  7. Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
  8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
  9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
  10. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Meanwhile, if someone does suffer a burn, First Aid for Life has the following tips on what you should do:

  • Hold the affected area under cool, running water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Cool the burn and keep the person warm (also look out for signs of shock).
  • Remove any loose clothing and jewellery as soon as possible – but never remove anything that has stuck to a burn.
  • If a child is burnt and the area is blistered and larger than a 50p piece, phone for an ambulance.
  • Once a burn has been cooled for at least 15-20 minutes, tit can be loosely covered with cling film or inserted into a sterile plastic bag if appropriate (never touch the burn or use lotions, ointments, creams or adhesive dressings on it).

Your local Careway pharmacy can provide you with everything you need for your first aid kit, including advice on how to use them. Ask your pharmacist to recommend the items you’ll need to keep your family and other guests safe while fireworks are lighting up the skies. Find your nearest Careway pharmacy by using our Pharmacy Finder.