Everyone loves to watch a beautiful firework display. There’s something about the burst of colours across the dark winter sky that is truly wonderful to watch. Behind these stunning displays, however, is a real risk of injury. We have all heard or seen news reports detailing the horrific injuries people have suffered as a result of fireworks. If proper health and safety measures are applied though, a firework display can be safe as houses.
Fireworks are a great way to see out the festive season, with displays such as the New Year’s Eve fireworks on London’s Southbank being famous all over the world. An event such as this is months in the making, with a lot of the planning revolving around health and safety. With such a large amount of people present, utmost care needs to be taken. It’s the same with firework displays everywhere. No matter how big or small, safety needs to come before all else. These kinds of displays are where people come to enjoy their selves and by doing so, they are putting their safety into your hands. It’s certainly a sobering thought, especially when you look at the injury statistics.
The yearly average
The average number of firework-related accidents totals 1,000 per year – and around half of these injuries are obtained at private or family parties. That’s why it’s safer to enjoy fireworks at a properly regulated public display, where correct health and safety measures are in place and a first aid team is likely to be on standby. So what kinds of measures need to be applied if you are planning to host a firework display during the Christmas period?
The government has certain rules and guidelines in place when it comes to firework displays. These include setting up a committee to make sure each person has a particular responsibility, including a designated health and safety representative. Make a guide of who is responsible to do what and when, making sure that each person has a copy. Trying to recruit at least one person who has previous experience with firework displays is recommended too. Fire extinguishers, buckets of water, sandbags and signs are also essential for a safe evening. Properly manned and clearly signposted first-said posts are recommended, as is notifying the authorities of your display. It’s unlikely an accident will occur if you follow all to correct rules and regulations, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If an incident does occur, it’s best to let the professionals take over.
Make sure you follow the rules
If you follow all of the rules set out by the government, there’s no reason why your firework display shouldn’t go by without a hitch. A properly organised display will be a safe place for people to enjoy themselves towards the end of the year, and it’s a spectacle that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. So if you are planning a fireworks spectacular this New Year’s Eve, think of the safety of your guests above all else. They will thank you later for hosting an evening that was not only hugely enjoyable, but completely accident free.
Jill Henderson is a Representative for the UK’s leading health and safety signs supplier – Cube Safety Signs.