Eight safety tips for celebrating Guy Fawkes night from our friends at Knoji. (Tips by Val Mills)

For UK citizens and those countries with Commonwealth connections, 5 November is traditionally fireworks or bonfire night. The true meaning of this celebration has almost been forgotten I many countries, but it’s the night when people remember the failure of Guy Fawkes and his men to blow up parliament in 1605.

Different countries have different regulations these days, some allowing private fireworks displays and others banning them altogether. Many countries now have only public pyrotechnic displays that people are encouraged to attend.

Even if you are allowed to buy and have a private backyard display where you live, the safest option is to attend and enjoy the public displays. If you are having a private display at home, here are some points to remember to ensure the safety of all attending.

1. Keep children supervised and at a safe distance: Children should watch the fireworks under adult supervision and from a safe distance, back from where the display is happening. For small children, watching through a window is the safest option.

2. Never leave fireworks and matches unattended: If you have to go away at all, never leave the matches and fireworks together where children can get them. Take the matches with you so there are no temptations.

3. Fireworks should be lit by adults: Children should never be allowed to light fireworks themselves. Things can go wrong too easily and using matches or lighters is not a safe option under any circumstances. Even sparklers can be dangerous and must be lit by adults.

4. Light fireworks in a clear space: Always light fireworks away from the rest of the fireworks. Ensure you have a clear space far enough away from the box or bag your unlit fireworks are in. Make sure sparks from the lit fireworks aren’t likely to set off the others in the bag.

5. Point fireworks towards the sky: All fireworks should be pointing upwards, towards the sky, before being lit. Young people tend to skylark around a bit, pointing them at friends. This is how accidents happen. To ensure the safety of people and buildings, the only safe way for the coloured lights of any fireworks to go is up.

6. Keep water and possibly sand nearby: Whether it’s a bucket of water or the garden hose, it is essential to have something within reach to extinguish the fire, in case something does go wrong.

7. Be ready to give basic first aid: Even with the best intentions, things go wrong. Make sure you have a first aid kit handy and know what to do with it. Brush up on your knowledge of hat to do in case of burns.

8. Keep pets inside: Not only do your children need to be protected on fireworks night, but so d your pets. Keep them inside until all the activity in your neighbourhood is over.

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