Bonfire night safety
With lockdown2 and the different rules and regulations all over the UK, the likely hood of public firework displays are slim. So you might decide to recreate some of the fun at home with sparklers or by building a small bonfire with older children, maybe even doing some campfire cooking. The most important thing to keep in mind is that fire, and fireworks, are dangerous.
Sparklers are cheap and fun. They give off sparkles as they burn and make pretty patterns but they can also be very dangerous and definitely shouldn’t be used by children under 5. When using sparklers:
- Make sure everyone wears gloves
- Hold sparklers well away from you
- Keep a bucket of water to put the finished sparklers in
- Only light one at a time
- Never pass lit sparklers
- Keep children more than an arm + sparkler’s width apart – around 6ft or 2m is a good distance
- Never allow them to wave sparklers at each other or duel with them
If you want to make a fire then follow some simple rules and keep it small so it doesn’t get out of control. Reember that if it’s windy you shouldn’t build a fire as the wind could pick up burning sticks and quickly get out of control. If you decide to have a bonfire at home:
- Build the fire carefully and make sure it on clear ground away from buildings, vehicles trees, fences and overhead cables. If your garden is too small to build a fire safely then go to a public display.
- Make sure all clothing is safe to be around fires – some synthetic materials will melt when in contact with heat
- Don’t use any accelerants such as petrol or lighter fuel to make the fire burn faster
- Only put wood, cardboard, leaves and and paper on it but keep flyaway materials to a minimum
- Have buckets or water or a fire extinguisher nearby
- Follow basic fire safety rules and once the fire has died down make sure you dampen the embers to stop it relighting
And finally we hope you don’t need it but here’s a quick refresher on how to care for a burn:
- Cool under cold running water for at least 10 minutes
- A burn larger than the size of your hand requires treatment in A&E, as do full thickness burns (these look white or charred) or partial thickness burns to the face, hands, feet, arms or legs (these burns have blisters).
- Get medical help for any burn in a child under 5, a pregnant woman, someone over 60, has a pre-existing medical condition or if there are other injuries or the person is going into shock
- Don’t pull off anything which is stuck to the burn – if necessary cut the material around it
- Don’t touch the burn or try to pop any blisters
- Cover the burn with cling film or put a clear plastic bag over the hand or foot to prevent infection – do not apply ice, creams or greasy substances such as butter