Safety first is message for Bonfire Night

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THE period around November 5 is often dreaded by anxious mums and dads, elderly people and pets.

But it doesn’t have to be that way – with a little planning and a lot of common sense, you can still enjoy this time of year.

That’s the message from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)

Fireworks and bonfire evenings can provide fun and entertainment for families at a time of year when the evenings are dark and gloomy.

As long as everyone follows the right safety procedures and remembers that fireworks can be dangerous if misused, a good, safe time may be enjoyed by everyone.

n Young people should watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance and follow the safety rules for using sparklers. Only adults should deal with firework displays and the lighting of fireworks. They should also take care of the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used.

n Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable.

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

n Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.

n Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.

n Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.

n Never return to a firework once it has been lit!

n Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.

n Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.

n Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.

n Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Sparklers are often viewed as being harmless, but they do burn at fierce temperatures.

Sparklers should not be given to anyone under the age of five. To a young child, the heat from a sparkler is equivalent to the heat from a welding torch.

Animals do not like bonfires or fireworks. The flames and noise upsets them. They should always be kept safely indoors. Make sure that they cannot get out through open windows and doors. It is best to keep the curtains closed too.