The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to go to a professionally organised event. However, not everyone can attend these, so if you're having a fireworks display at home take a moment to read these safety tips.
Buy the right fireworks
There are different categories of fireworks. Members of the public can buy and set off most of the fireworks that come under categories 1 to 3. These are fireworks that include those that you can use indoors, in your garden or at a display. Always read the packet carefully and make sure that the fireworks you buy are suitable for the place where you are going to set them off.
Preparation is key to enjoying fireworks safely, so:
- always buy fireworks from a reputable shop; shops have to apply to the Fire Service for a licence to sell fireworks
- only buy fireworks marked BS7114 – this is the British Standard that all fireworks should meet
- follow the instructions on individual fireworks – read them in daylight or by torchlight, never by a naked flame
- make suitable supports and launchers if you’re setting off catherine wheels or rockets
Things you will need on the night
It's easy to get a few household things together, these are:
- a torch
- a closed metal box to store the fireworks – take them out one at a time
- a bucket of water – to cool sparklers and put out any small fires
- eye protection and gloves
- a bucket of soft earth to stick fireworks in
Keep children safe
We want children to enjoy fireworks but they need to know that they can be dangerous if they are not used properly. Each year, over half of all fireworks injuries are suffered by children. The Child Accident Prevention Trust has more guidance on keeping kids safe.
Child Accident Prevention Jersey website
Protect your animals
You should take precautions to protect your pets. Keep them indoors – most animals get very scared by the lights and noise from fireworks.
Setting fireworks off
Follow these simple guidelines to stay safe:
- make your preparations in advance and in daylight; even if you are really familiar with the area you intend to use, make sure you make an inspection of it
- only one person should be responsible for letting off fireworks; if that’s you, then make sure you take all the necessary precautions
- don’t drink alcohol if you are setting off fireworks
- light fireworks at arm’s length, using a taper
- make sure everyone stands well back
- never go back to fireworks that have been lit, even if they haven’t gone off - they could still explode suddenly
Did you know that sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil? Sparklers are fun, but always:
- supervise children with sparklers and never give them to a child under five years old
- light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
- put used sparklers hot end down into a bucket of sand or water
The Fire and Rescue Service do not encourage the use of sky lanterns as they can present a fire hazard or entangle wildlife and livestock.
Sky lanterns can also be misinterpreted as marine distress flares, resulting in an emergency response from the Coastguard.
If you want to use sky lanterns to celebrate an occasion:
- don't use them when they're likely to cross a flight path
- ideally set them to be blown out to sea
- inform the Jersey Coastguard
Other safety tips on the night
Finally follow these other rules for a safe night:
- never put fireworks in your pocket, or throw them
- never throw spent fireworks on a bonfire
- take care around bonfires – all clothes, even those labelled ‘low flammability’, can catch fire
Download safe use of fireworks information booklet (size 197kb)