Fireworks night can be great fun but it’s important you celebrate safely. More of us are choosing to having parties at home to save money as councils increasingly charge for public events, says the Fire Brigade's Union. However, fire and injury claims increase fivefold around November 5, warns insurer Policy Expert.
So if you're having a party at home, here’s how to have a drama-free evening:
- Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114. If you’re setting off fireworks at home, keep them well away from your house and any garden furniture or fencing that could catch a flyaway spark
- Make sure you take all the proper precautions with storing fireworks at home – keep them in a sealed box or tin, away from any heat. Light them at arm’s length, using a taper then stand well back
- Always supervise children around fireworks. Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves and never give sparklers to a child under five
- Never use combustibles on bonfires – it may be tempting to throw a bit of petrol onto a bonfire to give it a boost but this can have disastrous effects and will certainly constitute negligence if it came to trying to claim on an insurnace policy
- If you do hold a party at your own home, as long as you don’t charge admission you will usually be protected by your home insurance within reason but be sure to check the small print for peace of mind
- When building bonfires, make sure they are a good distance away from any surrounding objects – you’d be surprised at the intensity heat from a bonfire burning all evening
- Be aware of your surroundings – for instance, if you are in an area where houses are close together, or thatched properties are nearby, it can only take a spark from a falling firework to start a fire that will quickly escalate
- Finally, if you decide to go out – whether it’s to a friend or family member’s house or to an organised event – make sure the house is secure. Darker evenings, loud noises and an evening where many people will choose to go out to enjoy the festivities are the perfect combination for burglars to take advantage, so make sure everything is locked up and any additional measures such as timed lighting are set up for the evening.