Fireworks are a beautiful and exciting way to celebrate various occasions, from New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Bonfire Night to your special celebration. 

As we are all probably aware, they also come with risks. Accidents involving fireworks can happen, and it’s essential to know what to do in case of a fireworks-related emergency. 

Whether you’re attending a public display or hosting your own Garden fireworks party, being prepared can make all the difference. 

In our latest blog, join us at Showtime Fireworks as we explore what steps to take in case of a fireworks-related emergency in the UK.

Let’s find out the mini answer first and then we can dive into the real details. 

During a fireworks-related emergency, immediately move away from the fireworks. For unlit fireworks, wait 20 minutes before soaking in water. If a fire starts, use a fire extinguisher or call 999. For injuries, run burns under cool water and seek medical attention promptly.

So now let’s get underway by finding out how to prepare for a firework display, whether it’s an organised event or if it’s in your garden. 

what to do incase a fireworks emergency

Be Prepared Beforehand

The best way to handle a fireworks-related emergency is to prevent it from happening in the first place. 

Before you even light a firework, make sure you’re well-prepared:

  • Buy Fireworks from Reputable Sellers: Always purchase fireworks from reputable retailers. They should meet the British Standard (BS 7114), ensuring they’ve been tested for safety.
  • Read the Instructions: Before using any fireworks, read the instructions carefully. Each firework is different, and knowing how to light and handle them correctly is crucial for safety.
  • Have Safety Equipment on Hand: Keep a bucket of water, a hose, and a fire extinguisher nearby. These can help you quickly put out any fires or deal with malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Choose the Right Location: Find an open, clear area away from buildings, trees, and flammable materials. Ensure the launch site is level and stable.
  • Keep Pets Indoors: Fireworks can be distressing for pets. Keep them inside to prevent them from getting scared or running away.

So now let’s find out more about the type of firework emergencies you are likely to come across. 

what to do incase a fireworks emergency

Common Fireworks-Related Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Despite taking precautions, emergencies can still occur when celebrating with fireworks. 

Here are some common fireworks-related emergencies and how to handle them:

Fireworks Don't Ignite or Explode

If you find yourself with a firework that fails to ignite or explode, it can be tempting to try and relight it. 

However, this can be extremely dangerous. Instead, patience is key. 

Give it some time; wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes to ensure it's completely cooled down.

After waiting, the safest way to handle the firework is to soak it in a bucket of water. This ensures that any remaining sparks or embers are fully extinguished, preventing any potential accidents or fires. 

It's important to handle the firework with care and avoid looking directly into the firework tube to check on it, as this can be risky. 

Firework Causes a Fire

If a firework causes a fire, swift action is crucial to prevent the situation from escalating. 

Your immediate response should be to use whatever means you have available to extinguish the flames. 

The UK Fire and Rescue Services advise using a hose, bucket of water, or fire extinguisher can be effective tools in putting out a small fire caused by a firework.

However, if the fire begins to spread rapidly or becomes too large to handle safely, it's essential to call emergency services immediately by dialling 999. 

Provide them with your location and a clear description of the situation.

While waiting for help to arrive, evacuating everyone from the area. Move to a safe distance to avoid inhaling smoke or being harmed by flying debris. 

Remember, your safety and the safety of others should always come first when dealing with a firework-related fire.

Firework Injuries

Firework injuries can range from minor burns to more severe injuries requiring immediate medical attention. 

According to the NHS, fireworks can cause serious burns, eye injuries, and even hearing loss if mishandled. In the event of an injury, it's crucial to seek medical help without delay.

For burns specifically, the British Burn Association advises running cool water over the affected area for at least 10 minutes to help alleviate pain and reduce tissue damage. 

After cooling the burn, cover it with a clean, non-fluffy cloth to protect the wound from infection. 

It's essential to avoid using ice, as it can further damage the skin, and don’t apply creams or ointments until advised by a medical professional. 

Misdirected Firework

If a firework veers off course, it can pose a significant risk to people and property. Immediate action is essential to ensure everyone's safety. 

If you notice a firework heading towards people or buildings, loudly alert those around you to move out of its path. Encourage everyone to seek shelter behind a solid structure, such as a wall or building, to protect themselves from potential harm.

If the misdirected firework causes damage or injury, it's crucial to report the incident to the police as soon as possible. 

Providing details about the location, time, and nature of the incident can help authorities take appropriate action and ensure public safety. 

Safety Tips for Attending Public Fireworks Displays

If you're attending a public fireworks display, you're not responsible for lighting the fireworks, but you still need to stay safe:

  • Follow the Organiser's Instructions: Listen to the event organisers and follow their instructions. They will guide you on where to stand and what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Stay Behind Safety Barriers: Keep a safe distance from the fireworks and stay behind any safety barriers or marked boundaries.
  • Keep Children Close: If you're with children, keep them close by and supervise them at all times. Make sure they understand the importance of staying away from fireworks and not picking up any leftover materials.
  • Plan Your Exit: Before the display begins, identify multiple exit routes. This can help you evacuate quickly and safely in case of an emergency.

To find out more head over to our other helpful article -  What Safety Measures Should Be Taken When Attending a Public Fireworks Display? 

After the Fireworks

Once the fireworks display is over, it's essential to clean up properly and dispose of any used fireworks safely:

  • Wait for Used Fireworks to Cool: Allow used fireworks to cool down completely before handling them.
  • Dispose of Used Fireworks Properly: Soak used fireworks in water overnight before disposing of them in a sealed bag in your household waste.
  • Check for Unexploded Fireworks: After the display, check the area for any unexploded fireworks. If you find any, do not touch them. Contact the police or local authorities immediately.

What Should I Do in Case of a Fireworks-Related Emergency? - To End With….

So as we've found out today, being prepared and knowing how to handle fireworks safely can help prevent accidents and injuries. 

Whether you're hosting a fireworks party or attending a public display, always put fireworks safety first. 

Follow our guidelines and remember, if an emergency does occur, stay calm, act quickly, and seek help when needed. 

By being informed and prepared, you can enjoy fireworks responsibly and safely.

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