Fireworks Code: Supplementary Guidance

5th November 2020

I thought you might benefit from the definitive supplementary guidance of the code on firework safety. Except that people have been confused. See https://www.fireworks-forum.org.uk/threads/firework-code.31949/

Indeed, there seems to be somewhat conflicting advice out on the web. So I went enny meany miny mo and got RoSPA, the Royal Society For Prevention of Accidents. They should know after all. From https://www.rospa.com/Home-Safety/Advice/Fireworks-Safety

However, transitory arrangements on leaving the EU will expire at the end of the year I understand, so it may all be up for a rehash. Which means this guidance may well be out of date before I have finished typing.

Anyway, here is my fuller explanation, you can’t be too careful you know. And Stupidity 20 is causing serve brain malfunction. My additions in BOLD, black for the charred remains of Covid 19 guidance stuffed in the ‘guys’.

Some of it may seem pointless. But that’s some guidance for you. You need to make up your own mind.

Firework code

Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks and the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used (and remember, alcohol and fireworks don’t mix!)  Don’t put them in your beer or cider, they won’t dissolve and it will stop the firework working. Children and young people should be supervised, and watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance. Follow these top 10 tips for a safer fireworks party:

      1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and check the time you can legally set off fireworks It is highly dangerous to do it outside these times. Just like crossing from Tier 2 to Tier 3 if it happens to be at the end of your street under Covid 19 guidance.

      2. Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time Fireworks, not closed boxes.

      3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary A battery torch, not the old fashioned one used in medieval times

      4. Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper Not someone who uses or dispenses tape and stand well back But not at the back of the well as the firework may get wet and not work

      5. Keep naked flames Make sure they have clothes on, including cigarettes, away from fireworks

      6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit Not ever, even if it is next year

      7. Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them The fireworks, not the pockets

      8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators And not at nearby buildings, vehicles, anything really. Except the sky. Perpendicular is safest.

      9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire Or cheese. It melts too quickly (if the bonfire is alight).

      10. Make sure that the fire is out e. there is no more flame or heat to it as far as you can tell that might get it going again, not that it is outside and surroundings are made safe before leaving. It is up to you how far to take this. 10 yards, 100 yards, back yards, or coal yards etc.

Sparkler safety

Sparklers are often viewed as being harmless but they burn at fierce temperatures, equivalent to a welding torch. Follow these top tips for sparkler safety:

      • It is recommended that sparklers are not given to under-5s  5 years old, not months or weeks or days etc

      • Make sure everyone handling sparklers wears gloves On your hands as usual, not your feet

      • Hold sparklers at arm’s length while being lit and light them one at a time The sparklers, not the arms

      • Don’t wave sparklers about close to other people Covid 19 guidance suggests that 2 metres is suitable, unless they are in your support bubble. But don’t forget the problems with farting and bubbles I have mentioned elsewhere. Methane is highly flammable, and you might get more than your fingers burnt

      • Never hold a baby in your arms while you are holding a sparkler But your girlfriend is fine, unless you call her ‘baby’.
      • When the sparkler has finished put it in a bucket of cold water. For avoidance of doubt, this refers to the sparkler, not the baby as described above

Bonfire safety

      • One person should be responsible for the bonfire and children should be supervised But they, the children, should not be responsible for the bonfire
      • Choose a site away from wooden fences, sheds and where children will be playing And out of doors. Not a petrol refinery, nor the House of Commons where flammable gases frequently build up
      • Never pour petrol, paraffin or meths on to a fire – it’s safer to use fire lighters to prevent flare-ups  But not to prevent turned up flares on trousers
      • Keep a bucket of water handy in case of an accident And an empty bucket to prevent ‘little’ accidents if children get desperate and need somewhere to go quickly
      • Avoid loose clothing and tie back long hair Avoid loose women also as they can cause division between husband and wife
      • After the party, pour water on the fire, rather than leaving it to burn out. Leave the party early, before it burns out (applicable in the Houses of Parliament too)