Everyone enjoys watching fireworks and below is a guide on tips to have a safe and stress free bonfire night. I have also included a brief history of why we celebrate November 5th.
Did you know that the majority of firework related injuries happen at a family or private party. Around 50% of all injuries will happen to children under the age of 17.
Why we celebrate Bonfire night
The reason we celebrate is due to the failed Gunpowder Plot which was stopped on 5th November 1605 lead by Guy Fawkes. Bonfires were lit to celebrate the safety of the King. From then every 5th November was known as Bonfire night. Each year we now remember this event with fireworks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire.
Background to the Gunpowder plot
After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, the English Catholics hoped that her successor James 1st would be more tolerant of their religion (James 1st had a Catholic mother) However, James 1st was opposed to Catholics and this meant that several men (13) decided they must seek revenge and that violent action was the answer.
The men were led by Robert Catesby and they all agreed the best action would be to blow up the Houses of Parliament. They hoped that by doing this they would kill the King and any Members of Parliament who were in the building.
To carry out their plan, the conspirators got hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder – and stored them in a cellar, just under the House of Lords. But the plan backfired as some of the plotters even had second thoughts. One of the plotters sent a warning letter to Lord Monteagle to avoid Parliament on 5th November. This letter reached the King and his forces made plans to stop the plot.
Guy Fawkes, who was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it in the early hours of November 5th, was caught, tortured and executed
Guy Fawkes, also known as Guido Fawkes (he adopted this name while he was fighting for the Spanish). He was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
The firework code:-
• Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
• Keep fireworks in a closed box.
• Follow the instructions on each firework.
• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper.
• 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 your pocket or throw them.
• Always supervise children around fireworks.
• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
• Never give sparklers to a child under five.
• Keep pets indoors.
• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11pm
Keeping pets safe – information from Blue Cross
Why not consider using indoor fireworks
Please remember that even if you have indoor fireworks that you follow all the safety instructions.
What to do if you have an accident with fireworks – information from St John Ambulance
Points to remember
- Why not visit an organised firework display – not only is it safer but you will see wonderful displays.
- Fireworks can be very loud and can upset the young or elderly so please be aware of this if you are having fireworks in your garden.
- You must be over 16 to purchase what is known as novelty fireworks and these include sparklers. You must be over 18 to buy other types of fireworks.
- Did you know it is illegal to let fireworks off between 11pm nd 7am except on 5th November. Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year when the curfew is 1am. It is also an offence to set off fireworks in a public place
- Please think of potential dangers before setting off Chinese Lanterns. There is a risk, particularly in rural areas, of them landing still alight near hay barns and there is also a danger of livestock ingesting pieces of wire from discarded lanterns.
By following the above I hope you have a wonderful and injury free Bonfire night.