Safety tips for bonfire night

PUBLISHED: 12:05 01 November 2007 | UPDATED: 21:50 29 May 2010

The bonfire in Saffron Walden last year

The bonfire in Saffron Walden last year

BONFIRES and fireworks will light up the night sky this weekend, as millions of people across the country celebrate bonfire night. This time of year is traditionally a busy time for emergency services, as despite the best efforts of everyone to take care,

BONFIRES and fireworks will light up the night sky this weekend, as millions of people across the country celebrate bonfire night.

This time of year is traditionally a busy time for emergency services, as despite the best efforts of everyone to take care, inevitably accidents happen.

If you bear the following safety tips in mind for you and your family, you should ensure that your bonfire night celebrations run smoothly and safely.

Bonfire night would not be the same without fireworks but make sure that any you purchase are marked with BS 7114, the national safety standard.

An Essex Police spokesman said it was important people were aware of the age restrictions on fireworks sales and possession.

He said: "It is illegal for under-18s to buy fireworks - all shops should refuse to sell fireworks to people under 18 or ask for proof of age if there is any doubt.

"It is against the law to carry adult fireworks if you are under 18 - anything other than caps, sparklers, cracker snaps and indoor fireworks.

"The penalty is a fine of up to £5000 or a six-month prison sentence."

Anyone caught misusing fireworks, throwing them or aiming them at people or buildings, for example, will also face tough penalties from police.

For safety's sake, make sure that any bonfire you light has plenty of space and is away from trees and buildings.

Fireworks should not be lit after 11pm - midnight on November 5 - and make sure children are kept away from fires or fireworks and under control at all times.

Sparklers, which may seem the most innocuous of all fireworks, are still capable of causing serious injury, so never give them to a child under five and always wear gloves when using them.

When shellsuits were at the height of fashion 20 years ago, the importance of dressing correctly for bonfire night became all too clear. Although the polyester era has now passed, it is still essential that children do not wear loose, flowing clothes that could easily catch light.

- TWO fireworks displays that are sure to be popular in the area are taking place in Saffron Walden and Dunmow.

The Saffron Walden Round Table fireworks display is taking place this Saturday on Saffron Walden Common. The gates will open at 6pm, an hour before the free display starts.

The Dunmow Round Table is holding its event on the recreation ground on The Causeway - gates open at 6.15pm, the bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm and the fireworks display will begin at 7pm.

A family ticket admitting two adults and three children is £10, adults will be charged £3 and children £2.

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