So I started off this blog with the intention of giving you the history behind Guy Fawkes Night (in short 411 years ago 13 men got together to try and assassinate King James by blowing up the houses of parliament) but if you wanted a history lesson you would have gone to Wikipedia!
So instead I am going to get right to the point
Guy Fawkes / Bonfire night safety!
The safest way to enjoy fireworks and bonfire night celebrations is to go to an organised event. They are the way forward – find one in your area, get wrapped up warm and go along with family and friends.
Now not everyone is fortunate to have events in their area so other alternatives:
Get some friends round, make some stovies or stew, grab a cup of hot chocolate, go in the garden and watch them in the night sky.
If this is not what you are looking for (let’s face it, it depends on what’s in your stovies as this could be the deal breaker right there, or in fact if you actually have any friends!)
Some people opt for fireworks at home– You have all heard the saying “remember remember the 5th November” well you want to remember it for all the right reasons don’t you?
Here are my points to consider:
Pets and animals
Lots of pets and animals are terrified of the loud cracks and bangs that come from fireworks, here are a few things you can do to try and help:
• If you have a dog make sure you give them a good walk before it gets dark
• Keep all pet inside with the curtains shut
• If you have a cat, make sure it is in before dark – cats like to take refuge in places they think are safe and a big pile of wood for a bonfire would be very appealing!
• Put Music or the TV on to distract them – this is especially important if you are not going to be in the house – leave it on while you’re out to help calm them when they are alone
Not all pets are the same so use your judgement (I mean I had a Rottweiler who never batted an eye lid at a firework but ran a mile when I brought out a bottle of nail polish?!)
I might be showing my age here but do you remember the 80’s advert on sparklers?
Sparklers are great fun, kids love them, adults love them but did you know that they heat up to 2,000 degrees?! Yip, 2,000! That’s 15 times hotter than a boiling kettle!
• Sparklers should be stored in a box with a lid
• Make sure everyone that is going to be handling sparklers is wearing gloves
• Don’t wear loose or flowing clothes!
• Children should be supervised at all times
• Never hold a child if you are going to be using a sparkler
• The sparkler should be held at arm’s length and lit by a responsible adult
• Used sparklers should be plunged into a bucket of water once done (these things stay hot for ages!)
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 (not matches people!)
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.
So back to history for a minute; Guy Fawkes was a military man so he got tasked with looking after 36 barrels of gun powder – after a tip off, he got caught on November 4th guarding the barrels in the Houses of Parliament – this was later known as ‘The Gun Powder Plot’ this is the reason for the ‘Guy’ on top of the bonfire.
‘Every day is a school day people!
Remember Local Authorities have rules and regulations on bonfires for good reason so if you must have one please remember:
• Organise it properly
• Should be at least 18 metres (60 feet) away from houses, trees, hedges, fences or sheds
• Before lighting, check for animals and children
• Use domestic firelighters
• Never use petrol, paraffin or other flammable liquids
• Never put used fireworks, aerosols, foam-filled furniture, batteries, tins of paint or tyres on a bonfire
Lastly, this is a celebration so inevitably there will be alcohol – but please be sensible;
• Never drink alcohol if you are setting off fireworks or attending a bonfire.
• Nominate people who are not drinking alcohol to take charge of late-night fireworks displays.
• Keep all the ‘merry folks’ in the house away from fireworks and bonfires
The clear message is that alcohol and fireworks don’t mix …….Be sensible!
My advice if you want to enjoy fireworks – Go to a properly organised event; these guys know what they are doing!
Your local authority website will have details of all events in your area. Health and Safety at these events is top priority and two way radio features highly.
If you are organising an event and want to find out more about two way radio and their Health and Safety features please contact us
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