Put safety first at Halloween
Fireworks are dangerous and can set fire to buildings and clothing. They can also cause serious injury, particularly to your hands and face.
Anyone wishing to buy or use fireworks must have a licence.
Fireworks can cause fear and distress, especially amongst older people and more vulnerable members of the community.
You are also reminded of the traumatic effects that fireworks can have on pets and farm animals.
Low noise fireworks may be available to buy from your local registered retailer.
There’s more information at the following link:
Firework safety advice
Fireworks should only be lit in a safe and controlled environment by a responsible adult.
- follow the Firework Code
- only buy fireworks marked with a CE mark
- not drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
- always supervise children around fireworks
- keep children well away from fireworks
- keep pets and animals indoors
- keep fireworks in a closed box or tin when not in use
- keep fireworks away from anything that could cause them to light
- follow the manufacturer’s instructions on each firework and use them one at a time
- only light fireworks outside in an open space
- light them at arm’s length using a taper and stand well back
- never go near a firework that has been lit, even if it hasn’t gone off - it could still explode
- never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
Sparklers are often seen as being harmless but they do burn at very high temperatures.
To a young child, the heat from a sparkler is similar to the heat from a welding torch.
- store sparklers in a closed box in a cool, dry place
- never give sparklers to children under the age of five
- always supervise children using sparklers
- always light sparklers one at a time keeping them at arm’s length and wear gloves (preferably leather)
- never hold a sparkler in your hand while also holding a child
- plunge burnt out sparklers hot end down into a bucket of water (sparklers stay hot for a long time)
- not take sparklers to public displays
Fancy dress costumes
Parents should be aware of the potential dangers of their children wearing fancy dress costumes, either shop bought or home-made, if they're around fireworks, sparklers, or open flames (such as pumpkins or turnips with candles).
Fancy dress costumes can be highly flammable. If you're making your own don’t use flammable materials such as black plastic bags.
Look out for costumes that are labelled ‘Low Flammability’ ‘BS5722’ or have the European code ‘BS EN 14878’.
If a child is wearing a fancy dress costume this Halloween:
- keep them away from naked flames and make sure they are properly supervised at all times
- avoid using a naked flame or candle in pumpkins or turnips - use a torch or battery-operated candle
- choose a costume and mask that doesn’t restrict your or your child’s vision
- make sure they wear woollen tights or ‘heavy’ trousers (jeans) and a woollen jumper under the costume
- stop, drop and roll if clothing does catch on fire – to try to put the flames out and also to stop the flames from rising towards the face
Fireworks and the law
Fireworks must be bought from a licensed dealer, who is required to keep record of sales.
Fireworks bought from other sources could be of a sub-standard quality, presenting an even bigger risk of injury.
It is also essential that you have a licence when buying any fireworks.
You can find a list of licensed dealers on the fireworks page.
For any enquiries on the use of fireworks, phone the fireworks helpline.