During the Autumn months, we all look forward to events that bring some cheer and excitement to the dark hours of the day. Although fireworks associated with New Year’s Eve and Guy Fawkes night are a visual treat for the whole family, it’s important to remember the danger involved.
During this time of year, we expect to see a rise in anti-social behaviour, especially in the days surrounding bonfire night. Due to the lack of responsible adults who buy fireworks, and the severity of injuries that can be caused by mishandling, or malfunctioning fireworks, the Scottish government has proposed several new rules regarding the sale and use of fireworks which are expected to be implemented. In the meantime, here are five tips to keep you safe this year.
1. Don’t DIY. The simplest way to keep safe around fireworks is to leave the handling of them to the professionals. Instead of buying your own and setting off fireworks in your back garden or street, perhaps spend this Guy Fawkes night with a cosy night in as most fireworks displays have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
2. Buy right. If you do decide to set off your own fireworks, be sure the ones you buy carry the CE mark. This means that the fireworks have passed the British European safety standards.
3. Safe Space. Make sure that if you are purchasing and setting off your own fireworks that you are doing so in a safe place and are mindful of your neighbours. Make sure the area surrounding your launch site isn’t crowded with debris that could catch fire from the fuse being lit. It is also worth making sure that where you set off your fireworks are a safe distance away from your home and any neighbours as sometimes fireworks can be lit and accidentally knocked off course and cause damage or worse injury to onlookers.
4. Never approach a firework that has already been lit. There are many cases of severe burns and injuries due to people returning to a firework that is taking longer than usual to go off. Remember that fireworks are incredibly dangerous explosions and must be treated with extreme care.
5. One Person Rule. Only have one person doing the lighting of the fireworks. This means that there is only ever one person at risk if something goes wrong. Remember to keep children well back from the launch site of your fireworks and only ever light one at a time.
6. Be alert. You must always be “switched on” if you are around fireworks as they could malfunction even if you carefully follow all instructions and do everything correctly. Be aware when you are out and about as well as anti-social behaviour with fireworks is expected around this time of year, and there are always cases of people setting off fireworks down residential streets.
Although fireworks are delightful to watch, we must remember that they are extremely dangerous and should be treated with the utmost caution and care. If you are participating in a bonfire or fireworks display, take all precautions, ensure children are supervised at all times, and enjoy the displays from a safe distance.
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our solicitors.