Attending a public fireworks display is much safer than holding a party at home, warns fire safety company

People planning to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night should attend a public display rather than risk their own safety with a firework show at home, a Shropshire fire safety firm warned today.

Bosses at Shires Fire and Safety on Stafford Park in Telford have suggested the UK follow the lead from other countries, such as Canada, where many cities have issued a fire prevention bylaw, banning the use of private fireworks within the city boundaries.

Barry Mould, Shires Fire and Safety managing director, said the company had no desire to spoil people’s fun on Bonfire Night but wanted to make sure people stay as safe as possible.

He said: “The highest number of firework-related injuries happen at private parties.

“It is much safer to go to a public bonfire display and it is very likely there will be a professionally managed one local to you that you can watch.

“It takes the stress out of the evening and means you can enjoy the celebrations without having to worry about safety in your own home. “The fireworks will be bigger and brighter too than the ones you would have at home.”

Mr Mould said people still need to be on guard during public displays and take necessary precautions, such as making sure they know where their children are at all times and staying well back from the designated bonfire and firework area.

He said: “A lot of people use sparklers while they are waiting for the fireworks to start and people should pay important attention to these too. Sparklers are not toys and should never be given to young children. “Everyone handling a sparkler should wear gloves and hold them at arms length while they are alight.”

Mr Mould said if you do decide to hold a private fireworks display at home, there are many safety precautions to take.

“Be clear about who is doing what. Only one person should be in charge of the fireworks, which must be certified by British Standards,” he said.

“Keep fireworks in a closed box and only use them one at time. Read the instructions carefully and it is best to have done this during daylight hours.

“Light the firework at arm’s length with the taper and stand well back. “Keep naked flames, such as cigarettes and matches, away from fireworks and never return to a firework once it has been lit,” he said.

Mr Mould also urged people to be careful when lighting a bonfire in the garden.

He said: “Make sure the site is well away from fences, sheds and from where children may be playing.

“Never ever pour petrol or other flammable liquids onto it. This can be very dangerous, as indicated by a recent case where a doctor died after pouring petrol on to items to be used in a bonfire.

“The vapour from petrol spreads to the ground and clings to clothes and will easily catch when the bonfire is lit.”

Mr Mould said holding a display at home is a big responsibility.

“People should really ask themselves if they need to have a private party. “They should also look at their house and buildings insurance to make sure it would not be invalidated if an accident did happen.

“We want to wish everyone a safe and fun Bonfire Night and the best way to do that is at a professional event.”

For more information about Shires Fire & Safety and for free fire safety advice from qualified experts call 0800 5423267, email sarah[email protected] or visit ENDS



Top 10 Guy Fawkes Night Safety Tips.


1)   Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time.

2)   Keep naked flames away from fireworks.

3)   Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.

4)   Never return to a firework once lit.

5)   Never use flammable liquids on a bonfire.

6)   Make sure the fire is out and surroundings are safe before leaving.

7)   Have a bucket of water handy for emergencies.

8)   Avoid loose clothing and keep hair tied back. Don’t drink alcohol until after the show.

9)   Make sure a bonfire is well away from your house and any trees, fences and sheds.

10)  Always supervise children around fireworks.


Pete White Pete White

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