Bonfire Night, the annual British tradition is upon us.
Taking place on 5th November, it marks the anniversary of the foiled Gunpowder plot orchestrated by a gang of Roman Catholic activists, including Guy Fawkes who was found under Parliament next to gunpowder barrels, ready to be ignited.
Fireworks are also set off throughout the country as they are powered by gunpowder, representing the explosives that were never used[/caption]
This story has been ingrained as part of our culture since 1605.
The only official exception to this was St Peter’s School in York where Guy Fawkes was a pupil.
Today, we celebrate the occasion with fireworks, sparklers and of course a bonfire ablaze – which could potentially be a dangerous recipe if proper care isn’t taken.
Bonfire night marks the anniversary of the gunpowder plot being foiled when Guy Fawkes was caught in Parliament’s cellar[/caption]
People first started lighting bonfires as a celebration that the king hadn’t been killed[/caption]
Last year, a reported 31,000 houses broke out in fire throughout the year with Bonfire Night seeing a remarkable spike in fire brigade callouts, according to Fire and Rescue Services.
It’s important to stay safe and alert when at an outdoor firework display or at home.
When it comes to the environment, it is better to attend a professionally organised event as less dioxins and carbons are omitted into the atmosphere.
To help you make the right choices, Peter Lackey, Fire Safety Expert for ADT has his top tips for staying safe during the festivities.
Bonfire Night Tips
- Make sure bonfires and fireworks are lit 18m away from houses, trees, hedges, fences, shrubs and sheds. Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby in case of emergencies and pour water on the bonfire embers at the end of the night. Young people should be supervised when lighting fireworks and only light one at a time. Always read the instructions on the packaging before lighting and never go back to a lit firework!
- Always check that the fireworks you buy are British Safety Standard approved, marked by ‘BS7114’ on the box. Buying British Safety Standard means that the fireworks have been made and can be used safely without any firing mishaps.
- Rockets travel at 150 mph, the equivalent of 67 metres per second! Make sure they only go upwards. Think about where the hot residue will land (haystacks, heathland, urban buildings, thatched roofs) when aiming the rocket pre-lighting up.
- Sparklers burn at between 1,000 and 1,600 degrees Celsius. Three together represent the output of a welding torch. Wear gloves and mind loose clothing and when finished with, pop the used sticks in a bucket of water.
- When creating your bonfire, be sure to check for small wildlife and insects that could be hiding within twigs and kindling before you light a match.
- Stand at a safe distance from the lit bonfire, as embers can jump from the fire onto clothing. If this does happen, simply pat the embers down to put out the tiny flame.
- When making clothing choices: the heavier the fabric the longer it will take to burn, fluffy and fuzzy fabrics however burn a lot quicker.
- Loud noises of the fireworks can startle pets and trigger them to act aggressively. Keep all windows and doors locked to minimise the sounds and to prevent scared animals running away. To help ease pet anxiety, consider purchasing a Thunder shirt, which acts like baby swaddling to calm dogs down, available here.
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Bonfire Night should be filled with fun.
Be sure to have a safe Bonfire Night celebration in and out of the home to stay protected.
ADT provides fire and smoke detection systems for the home.