Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is encouraging residents to take care of their safety this autumn, particularly in the lead up to Halloween and Bonfire Night. By following some simple safety advice, residents can ensure that they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe during the holiday period.
Always make sure that you buy fireworks, lanterns, and costumes from a reputable retailer and make sure that they have the relevant safety standards. If there are safer alternatives to items like candles, use them instead! Instead of using a candle to light a pumpkin, why not use an LED tealight?
Group Manager, Paul Jones, said: “The autumn period can be a great time to celebrate with family and friends, but candles and fireworks can be a real fire hazard. By following our safety advice, like making sure items come from a reliable supplier and checking they follow safety standards you can really reduce your risk of an accident.”
If you’re dressing up for Halloween, make sure you have a look at our costume safety advice to ensure both you and your child are safe:
- Make sure that when purchasing or using costumes and masks that they are labelled as flame-resistant.
- Costumes should comply with EN71 – a European-wide standard, which tests for flammability. It should also have a CE mark, which means the product complies with European health and safety requirements.
- Don’t use flammable materials to make home-made costumes.
- Keep children away from naked flames at all times.
- If your clothing catches fire remember to stop, drop and roll and then cool, call and cover.
When using fireworks or bonfires, make sure you:
- Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 or with a CE mark – this shows that the firework meets British or European safety standards (a reputable shop will know this).
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
- Preparation is key: make sure you set a safe perimeter away from people and property and keep a bucket of water nearby
- Never go back to a lit firework – even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode.
- Always supervise children around fireworks and never give sparklers to a child under five
- Build bonfires well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures.
- Never burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint – many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode causing injury.
- Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going as it could quickly get out of control.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies.
- Never leave a bonfire unattended and keep children and pets away from it.
If there is an accident, always remember to get yourself to a safe distance and call 999.
For more information on celebrating safely, visit: rbfrs.co.uk/celebrating-safely