By Bernie Bell
The Office for Product Safety and Standards has produced safety tips on how to use fireworks responsibly to protect people and animals from harm.
A firework safety campaign was launched on the 20th October 2020) by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), working in partnership with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Child Accident Prevention Trust, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Groups, businesses and individuals are encouraged to support the consumer awareness messages, on how to stay safe when using fireworks, by retweeting and posting them on social media, using the hashtag #fireworksafe, or using the shared campaign materials.
Staying safe with fireworks
OPSS has produced safety tips on using fireworks responsibly and considerately and protecting people and animals from harm. Please check and comply with the latest COVID-19 restrictions in your local area. For more information, visit gov.uk/coronavirus.
Buy fireworks from licensed in store and online retailers
Do not buy fireworks from unknown retailers on social media sites. Remember that the public can only buy Category F2 and F3 fireworks. Check you have enough space to safely use a firework before you buy it. Fireworks can only be purchased by people aged 18 and over.
It is important fireworks are stored safely
When storing fireworks, keep them in their original packaging, dry and away from sources of heat and ignition, and lock them away from children and animals.
Let off fireworks on traditional celebration dates only and adhere to the fireworks curfew
People are more likely to plan to protect pets and vulnerable people if fireworks are let off on traditional dates. The firework curfew is midnight on Fireworks Night, 1am on Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year, and 11pm the rest of the year.
Be considerate to others when letting off fireworks
Let neighbours know in advance when you are planning to let off fireworks, so they can take steps to protect vulnerable people and animals. If you live close to horses, make sure you site your fireworks well away from them and aim them in the opposite direction. Do not let off fireworks if they will disturb nearby farm animals, wildlife habitats, or roosting bats and birds.
Keep animals safe
Dogs and cats should be kept inside and have a hiding place. Give small animals who live outside lots of extra bedding and nesting material to burrow in.
Follow the instructions on fireworks for safe usage
Read instructions carefully and if you do not understand them, do not use the firework. Read all the safety warnings on the firework box so you know important information like how far away people should stand from the firework. Once any debris has cooled down, tidy it up and soak it in water. Then put in a rubbish bag and in the bin.
The campaign materials can be downloaded from the Consumer safety awareness campaigns materials GOV.UK page