Firework safety is essential if you are going to avoid any personal injuries on Bonfire Night. Whilst things are going to be very different this year, due to Covid-19 and social-distancing, if you do decide to use fireworks in private then it is essential for you to understand how to operate them safely. That way you can avoid getting hurt or unintentionally injuring someone else and getting yourself involved in a personal injury claim.
Here at Gowing Law, we understand that personal injuries can seriously affect your life. Not only can it impact you physically, but your emotional health and confidence. That’s why if you do end up getting hurt due to someone else’s negligence, Gowing Law will be here to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve. Check out our public accidents page below to learn more.
Fireworks Night, Firework Safety & Covid-19: A Warning
Right now, holidays and seasonal events are going to be very different to the usual. This is because the UK is going into a second lockdown and so you should not meet up with anyone outside of your own personal household/bubble. That means that it’s very unlikely that there are going to be any public firework displays that groups of people can attend. It also means that you can’t meet up with people in order to have a private fireworks display. Unfortunately, the majority of these types of events are going to be cancelled.
If you are going to hold your own personal fireworks display, you have to understand that if you do end up getting hurt because of your own negligence then you will not be able to ask for compensation. You did not follow firework safety regulations. The only way you could do this is through your own home insurance if the fireworks were set off or you were injured on your own property. Keep this in mind when you think about celebrating Bonfire Night this time of year. It may just be worth staying inside and keeping out of the cold. That way you can keep safe and not suffer from any potential third-degree burns.
Firework Safety: What sort of personal injuries could I suffer from?
When it comes to firework related injuries, one of the most common ways that you could get hurt is on your hands. Think about it this way, you are using your hands to set off fireworks and to hold sparklers. That means that if you are not wearing gloves or something that can protect your skin, it is more likely that you will suffer from burns on your hands, fingers or palms. If you do not go to hospital then this will increase the likelihood that you will suffer from scars or infections. Without the use of your hands then you may struggle to do daily tasks or even do your normal work-day tasks.
Although your hands are the most common areas to get injured by fireworks, there are some other types of injuries that you could suffer from as well. Take a look at the infographic below to get a sense of where else you could get hurt.
If you have suffered from a personal injury due to fireworks, then you should go to hospital as quickly as possible. You don’t want your injuries to get any worse and you should always have them checked out by a professional. That way you can make sure that you can get a medical report, as well as a doctor’s note if your injuries are so severe that you need to take time off work in order to recover.
Firework Safety: What you need to know!
If you’re going to use fireworks on bonfire night then you will need to do it safely. We would recommend that you do not use fireworks unless you have been trained, however we understand if you want to do it at home in order to have a private event for you and your household. In normal circumstances, the safest option for you to enjoy fireworks would be to go out to a public event. But as you want to keep safe and in your own private social bubble, it is understandable that you may want to host your own smaller event.
That’s why below you will be able to find the top ten safety tips that will make sure that you and your family are safe on Bonfire Night.
1. Plan where you are going to have your fireworks display
Outside of Bonfire Night, you will find that there is actually a curfew that you will need to adhere to if you decide to put on a firework’s display. Normally, it is illegal to put on a show between 11 pm – 7 am. On Bonfire night, this curfew will extend to 12 am. However, with the second lockdown, things are naturally going to be different. You can only use category 2-3 fireworks. Category 4 fireworks must solely be used by professionals. But you must still speak with your local council to make sure that it is legal to put on your show.
Make sure to pick a spot that is large enough to sustain a firework’s show. You need to be able to maintain a safe distance from the actual fireworks to make sure that no fire or sparks hurt the watchers. If you do decide to light the fireworks in your own back garden, you have to make sure that there is enough space for them to go off in the sky without the sparks affecting foliage or perhaps hitting someone else’s property. On the other hand, if you want to do it in a public area, you will need to get permission to ensure that your private event can be entirely legalized.
2. Only use professionally created fireworks
For the purposes of firework safety, professional fireworks have the mark ”CE” to ensure that people can use them without them malfunctioning or exploding without taking off. They should come in a closed boxed without the cello tape and cover being tampered with. When you use them then you should only use one at a time to ensure that you can fully focus on the product and make sure it is completely safe to go off. Using multiple products at one time could distract you. It means that you cannot control their direction, speed and explosion. Focus on one and make sure you know how you are going to set it off and where it is going to land.
3. Always follow the firework safety instructions
If you really want to adhere to firework safety, the best thing that you can do is stick to the instructions on the packet. The makers know how the product should be handled, therefore if you read them carefully you should be able to keep safe. Have a look at the instructions during the day time, so you have enough light to read them, and mentally prepare for the evening. You should never read the products by a naked flame, however you can also use a torch.
In some cases, you may find that the product instructions may either be very hard to read, or potentially carry misleading instructions. If you do suffer a personal injury due to a faulty product, this could be means enough for a compensation claim. However, you will need to prove how the product was faulty and provide evidence to back up your claim. This includes:
- Witness Statements
- Medical Reports
- Police Reports
- Diary Entries
- Financial Receipts
Naturally, you won’t be able to find all of these pieces of evidence. However, we would recommend that you do keep the box packaging of fireworks in order to prove how they were faulty and that the instructions were inaccurate. That’s going to be a major piece of evidence that shows that you were sold a faulty product and were a victim of negligence.
4. Light the fireworks at a safe distance
Firework safety is all about lighting a firework at a safe distance. Each firework will have a lighter (aka. a string) which can be lit in order to start the chemical process. You should light your firework with a taper at an arm’s length to make sure that you are not burned. Once you have lit the firework make sure to stand well back to make sure that you are not hit by any stray sparks, smoke or noxious gases. If you do all this, you should be able to light a firework without getting burned or hurt in the process.
5. Keep naked flames away from the fireworks
Naturally, if you don’t intend to have a firework set off, then it is logical to keep it away from an open-flame. Lighting cigarettes, candles or anything that requires fire near a firework could accidently set it off if it sparks. If you do not have the firework set up appropriately from people, or it is still lying on the ground and it is accidently lit, people could end up getting hurt or things could get set on fire. Make sure to keep your fireworks in a place where they will not get wet or accidently set off.
6. Make sure to wear the right PPE when handling fireworks
If you are going to try and light a firework, you should never do this without wearing appropriate safety gear. Whilst this seems fairly obvious, but people do sometimes handle these types of explosives with their bare hands! This could potentially mean that they get burns and eventual scars. Try to find some non-flammable gloves that can protect your fingers and palms. You can also consider wearing goggles to protect your eyes or a mask if you are worried about any toxic fumes. It’s always better to be over-protected than handling a naked flame without any safety gear. That way you can always adhere to firework safety instructions.
7. Never put fireworks in your pockets
Now, this is fairly obvious, but honestly we think it’s important that you keep your fireworks in an open environment. Even if you are just intending to use sparklers on Bonfire Night, if you put them in your pocket then you will find that they could catch fire and burn you or set your clothes alight. Whilst this might sound pedantic, it’s always safer to keep your fireworks out in the open. That way if they do end up accidently setting on fire, you will be out of harm’s way. Always set off fireworks at a safe distance from yourself and from other people.
8. Do not drink and handle fireworks
When we think about firework safety, we are talking about handling an explosive object that could cause personal injuries. That’s why you need to be fully focused and in your right mind if you are planning on hosting a fireworks event. It can be tempting to drink alcohol since you are going to be at a social event. However, if you do end up getting hurt because of a mishandled fireworks, the odds will not be in your favour if they prove that you were drunk during the fireworks event. It could mean that there is a case against you that proves you were negligent. You got drunk knowing that it could affect your senses, therefore it is your own responsibility that you got hurt.
If you are going to drink then do not handle fireworks, it’s that simple!
9. Do not return previously lit fireworks
Even if a firework hasn’t gone off, one of the worst things that you can do is repackage it. Never take it back to the shop and act as if you did not use the product. A used firework, even if it does not explode, is still a used firework. It has the potential to explode at any given time. That means that it’s very likely that it’s going to go off inside of a packet next to other fireworks. This could cause a massive explosion inside of a store and end up getting people hurt. This could mean that you are liable for a public accident claim. You were irresponsible when you gave back the fireworks after they had been used.
If a fire work does not go off after you have lit it, you should leave the product overnight. Then you should soak it in water to ensure that all of the sparks have been put out. If you are using larger fireworks, you may also want put a warning out for the public. You can also tape it off so people know not to go near it.
10. Make sure the fireworks are completely out before you leave.
It’s important to make sure that your fireworks are completely dead before you leave. If you have decided to use a public space, make sure to check them out. You should then submerge them in water if they are still sparking. You should also ensure that the surroundings are completely safe before you leave the environment. The last thing you want to happen is that the product re-sparks and a fire happens. If you are worried about a potential fire happening from one of your fireworks, you should contact your local authorities. That way they can be disposed of appropriately.
If you want to make sure that everything is okay, come back to the area in the morning. They should be completely dead by then. You can also get rid of the remains of the fireworks to make sure that no one else encounters them.
Gowing Law can help if you have a personal injury claim
Gowing Law will be here to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve if you are hurt. Our specialists are here to speak to you and give you free advice to get started. They can also see you for a free consultation. If you are happy with their advice, you can then work with them on a “no win-no fee” basis. This means you will always come out on top and will not have to pay any hidden fees.
Contact Gowing Law today by ringing 0800 041 8350, emailing email@example.com or by using our claims checker. From there, our experienced lawyers will get in contact with you to talk you through your case. Let them know if you have any questions! You can also use our LiveChat if you need to talk to someone quickly.
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