MIL-OSI United Kingdom: Put safety first at Halloween

9

Source: Northern Ireland Direct

Date published: 22 October 2021
Put safety first this Halloween to make sure it’s a night for treats not tragedies. Fireworks and sparklers can be dangerous, so make sure they are used safely and in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow the Firework Code.

Fireworks 
Some COVID-19 regulations are still in place. 
People may be celebrating Halloween at home rather than going to the large public planned firework displays this year. This will increase the risk of fire.
Anyone wishing to buy or use fireworks must have a licence.
Fireworks can cause fear and distress, especially amongst older people and more vulnerable members of the community.
You are also reminded of the traumatic effects that fireworks can have on pets and farm animals.
Low noise fireworks may be available to buy from your local registered retailer.
There’s more information at the following link:
Firework safety advice
Although fireworks are entertaining and exciting, if not properly handled they can be extremely dangerous and can result in injuries, often serious ones.
Fireworks should only be lit in a safe and controlled environment by a responsible adult. You should:
follow the Firework Code
only buy fireworks marked with a CE mark – this shows fireworks meet European Safety Standards
not drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
keep fireworks in a closed box when not in use and keep away from anything that could cause them to light 
follow the manufacturer’s advice on each firework and use them one at a time
light them at arm’s length using a taper and stand well back
never go near a firework that has been lit, even if it hasn’t gone off – it could still explode
never put fireworks in their pocket or throw them
always supervise children around fireworks
keep pets and animals indoors – the flames and noise upset them
not set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11.00 pm
Sparklers
Sparklers are often seen as being harmless but they do burn at fierce temperatures.
To a young child, the heat from a sparkler is similar to the heat from a welding torch.
You should:
store sparklers in a closed box in a cool, dry place
always light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves, keeping them at arm’s length
never hold a sparkler in their hand while also holding a baby or child 
plunge finished sparklers hot end down into a bucket of water as soon as they have burnt out (sparklers stay hot for a long time)
not take sparklers to public displays – it will be too crowded to use them safely
never give sparklers to children under the age of five – they will not understand how to use them safely
always supervise children using sparklers, teach them how to use them properly, and give children woollen gloves to wear 
Fancy dress costumes
Parents should be aware of the potential dangers of their children wearing fancy dress costumes, either shop bought or home-made, if they’re around fireworks, sparklers, or open flames (such as pumpkins or turnips with candles).
If a child is wearing a fancy dress costume this Halloween:
keep them away from naked flames – avoid using a naked flame or candle in pumpkins or turnips; use a torch, glow stick or battery-operated candle
stop, drop and roll if clothing does catch on fire – to try to put the flames out and also to stop the flames from rising towards the face
choose a costume and mask that doesn’t restrict a child’s visibility or vision
make sure they wear woollen tights or ‘heavy’ trousers (jeans) and a woollen jumper under the costume
supervise them well at all times
Look out for costumes that are labelled ‘Low Flammability’ ‘BS5722’ or have the European code ‘BS EN 14878’.
Fireworks and the law
Fireworks must be bought from a licensed dealer, who is required to keep record of sales.
Fireworks bought from other sources could be of a sub-standard quality, presenting an even bigger risk of injury. It is also essential that you have a licence when buying any fireworks.
You can find a list of licensed dealers on the fireworks page.
For any enquiries on the use of fireworks, phone the fireworks helpline. 
More useful links

MIL OSI United Kingdom