Hosting a bonfire or fireworks display? Then follow these safety tips
People are being urged to attend organised fireworks displays this Bonfire Night, rather than unofficial events.
Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council's communities committee, said organised displays are much safer than unofficial ones.
But she said people having their own bonfire and fireworks display should follow these safety tips:
• Bonfires can only be held on private land with the owner's permission
• Warn your neighbours beforehand - so they are aware and can make necessary preparations
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• Only burn dry material, do not burn anything which is wet or damp, this causes more smoke
• Check there are no cables (telephone wires etc.) above the bonfire
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• Build the bonfire well away from buildings, sheds, fences and trees
• Do not use petrol or paraffin to start the fire as it can get out of control quickly
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby - in case of emergencies
• Do not leave the bonfire unattended
• Keep children and pets away from the bonfire
• Do not throw any fireworks into the fire
• Do not burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint - this could produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury
• Once the bonfire has died down, spray the embers with water to stop it reigniting and ensure it is completely extinguished.
In regard to fireworks, people should:
• Only buy fireworks marked CE & BS 7114
• Only buy from a reputable retailer
• Make sure that any selection boxes are sealed when you buy them
• Check all fireworks are not damaged or damp
• Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
• Keep fireworks in a closed box
• Follow the instructions on each firework carefully
• Light them at arm's length using a suitable taper
• Stand well back
• Never go back to a lit firework; it may go off in your face
• Never put fireworks in your pocket
• Never throw fireworks
• Always supervise children around fireworks
• Keep pets indoors
Sophie Leney, head of the council's trading standards, said: 'If you are buying fireworks for any reason, order them from a reputable stockist who will keep them aside for you until they are required.
'Once you have them, please remember that they are explosives and are therefore potentially dangerous.
'All fireworks are subject to age restrictions so people buying them must be over 18.
'However, we would advise that retailers adopt the 'Challenge 25 Policy' by asking for photo identity from any customer who appears to be under 25.
'Fireworks not manufactured to a high standard can be very dangerous.
'We would urge people to check for the CE mark and not to buy fireworks from car boot sales or from the back of a van.
'Always read the instructions on the firework or on the box they were sold in and do exactly what they say.'