Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Life and Times of the Working Mum: Firework Buying Guide

It's that time of year again, and if you haven't already seen those sparkles in the sky, then it won't be long before you hear the first explosions of fireworks as they light up the darkness. We have taken Leo along to a display multiple times a year since he was a baby, and he has grown up to adore them. Not once has he been worried of scared as they explode into the most beautiful of colours and shapes, and he has always looked forward to attending displays whether they are for Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas or New Year. 

As a nation we love fireworks but with this love comes great responsibility. This responsibility is something that we have tried to instill in Leo from a young age. No matter how fun and beautiful fireworks are, they aren't toys and should be treated accordingly. Fireworks are dangerous, they have the power to damage and destroy, but of course they are enjoyable and we want the occasions that fireworks are involved to be special, but we want them first and foremost, be safe.

As the start of the season is upon us, I thought now was a great time to run through some points on how to make the very most of firework displays and of course enjoy them in a safe environment. Especially if you are putting on your very own firework display from home.

The Life and Times of the Working Mum's Firework Buying Guide

First things first...
Choose which type of fireworks you want
Always sore fireworks safely, away from naked flames and water. Always read the instructions carefully before using them.

There are such a wide variety of different fireworks and it is important to be familiar with what you are purchasing:
- Sparklers: A firm favourite with the young and the young at heart. Supervision is required at all ties and really shouldn't be used by a child under the age of five, and even then gloves should be worn to protect their hands, as sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 2000°C.

Fountain: A ground-based firework, which emits showers of crackling, glittering sparks and light effects that can reach up to 6 metres (20ft).

- Mine: A spectacular explosion of colours and effects, starting with a ground level fountain, which builds up to a sudden, unexpected burst of aerial plumes and stars.

- Roman candle: Roman candle fireworks shoot out a brilliant array of stars, coloured balls, bangs and flashes.

- Rocket: An aerial firework, which is propelled into the sky by a rocket motor, leaving a trail of stars and finishing with a delightful burst.

- Shot tube: Single shot Roman candles that create big starbursts and crackles with a glittering tail.

- Cake: cake fireworks are essentially a group of multi-shot Roman Candles fused together, making them fire in rapid succession to create a vibrant aerial firework display by lighting a single fuse.

- Single Ignition: A very large cake, single ignition fireworks produce massive aerial bursts, a choreographed barrage of light and sound.

What to consider when buying your fireworks:
- Only buy from a licensed retailer. It's illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18.
- Only buy fireworks that comply with British Standard 7114 or its European equivalent. Instructions should be in English
- Only buy fireworks in full packs. Don't buy loose fireworks or packs with fireworks taken out of them.

Firework Code (As per the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents)
Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time.
- Read and follow the instructions on each firework, using a torch (never a flame) if necessary.
- Light the firework at arm's length with a long taper and stand well back.
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
- Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
- Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
- Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
- Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
- Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.
- Children and young people should stand at a distance from fireworks and only handle sparklers, when they should wear gloves and extinguish used sparklers in a bucket of sand or water. Only adults should deal with firework displays and the lighting of fireworks. Adults should also take care of the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used.
Of course all of this is so that the experience can be an enjoyable one, and the back drop to create some fantastic memories that will be cherished for many years to come. Leo and I intend to enjoy as many shows as we can this year, and it all starts at the end of this month! 
Have you got any booked in the diary yet?

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