If you are handling, lighting or intend to be within close range of fireworks you should take precautions to protect your eyes. There are scores of eye injuries caused by fireworks every year which could be prevented by following safety advice.
Top tips for protection against fireworks
- Visit an organised display – This is the safest way to enjoy bonfire night celebrations.
- Wear protective eye wear – if you’re going to be handling, lighting or in close proximity to fireworks you will need to wear protective goggles – normal glasses will not protect your eyes against most injuries. If you’re lighting fireworks, you should wear polycarbonate lenses – available from most DIY stores, these can be worn over your regular glasses if needed.
- Do not give sparklers to children under the age of five – sparklers can be very dangerous as they become burning rods of metal once they are lit and give off sparks which can burn the eye. It’s important for everyone to enjoy sparklers safely, remember to keep your arm extended and never bring the sparkler close to your face. Ensure each child has plenty of space around them, and do not run whilst holding them. Have a bucket of water nearby so they may be disposed of safely.
- Stand back – it’s important to light all fireworks at an arm’s length with a specially designed taper. Once you have lit the firework, stand well back as it launches to prevent sparks going into your eyes.
- Never return to a lit firework – if you have lit a firework but it hasn’t gone off, do not return to it. It may have a damaged fuse which means it is taking longer to go off and it could explode at any time causing serious injury.
- Supervise children at all times – be vigilant to make sure they are never close to fireworks or left alone with sparklers.
- Buy fireworks that meet British Standards – ensure you buy your fireworks from a reputable retailer and that they confirm to British Standards, these will be marked BS 7114 on the box.