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Firework dangers: stay safe

Despite the annual warnings, thousands will be injured by fireworks this year.

In recent years, there has been a concerted effort by safety groups to encourage people to go to properly organised bonfire events. Unfortunately, Covid has put a stop to that, as the organised events can no longer go ahead.

So, as people return to having bonfires and fireworks in their own garden, sadly, we are likely to see a high number of injuries again this year.

Figures released by NHS Digital in 2019, showed that nearly 2,000 people had ended up in A&E with firework injuries the previous year.

While NHS England said that over the last five years, almost 1,000 people had been admitted to hospital with firework related injuries and added that more than a third of those injured were males in the 20 to 34 year-old age bracket.

If you are planning to buy fireworks, avoid the ones being offered for sale on the cheap – these could well be illegal and may not carry the proper safety guidance.

Firework safety coding

All fireworks sold to the public must be rigorously tested and classified as either F2 or F3. These categories tell you the safety distances and also impose a noise limit.

Category F1 fireworks can usually be used indoors so pose a minimal hazard

Category F2 fireworks are also known as garden fireworks and have a safety distance between 8 and 15 metres – see individual fireworks for exact distance

Category F3 fireworks are also known as display fireworks and should be used at distance of at least 25 metres

Category F4 fireworks are industrial fireworks designed for professional use only. These fireworks must NOT be sold to the public. They are often supplied without a fuse so must only be used by trained professionals.

Check the safety distance

Always check the clearance in your garden when using F2 or F3 fireworks

Sparkler fact

Did you know that a sparkler burns at the same temperature as a welding torch? Keep this in mind when using them

Fireworks and the law

  • Fireworks can only be sold between 15 October – 10 November, 26 -31 December, and 3 days before Chinese New Year and Diwali
  • It is an offence to use fireworks after 11pm, or after midnight on 5th November, or after 1am on New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali
  • It is against the law to buy or carry fireworks if you are under 18
  • It is an offence to tamper with or modify fireworks


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