Plan early to stay safe at parties

Fireworks are already on sale ahead of Bonfire Night on November 5, so the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is urging people to plan ahead to ensure they and their guests stay safe at parties.

The safest place to enjoy fireworks is at properly-organised displays, but RoSPA recognises that not everyone can attend such events.

Good preparation is vital if you are arranging a fireworks celebration at home. Now is a good time to start thinking about issues such as: The law concerning fireworks, whether you have enough space for your guests to watch from a safe distance, who will be attending your party - will there be lots of children around?, suitable sites for a bonfire, if you’re having one and who will be responsible for setting off the fireworks.

Jennifer Henderson, RoSPA’s home safety officer for Scotland, said: “Remember that planning in advance for fireworks parties at home is key to putting on a safe - and impressive - display. It’s a sad fact that each year, hundreds of people are injured by fireworks on and around Bonfire Night, and many more people are injured at private parties than at large public displays.

“If you can’t get to an organised fireworks display, which are often of extremely high quality, please don’t leave safety until the last minute. Make sure you know what you’re doing - and what to do if things go wrong.”

Phil LeShirley, RoSPA’s product safety adviser, added: “When purchasing fireworks, always use a reputable retailer.

“Don’t be tempted to buy from door-to-door salesmen, the back of a van or at car boot sales - even though the prices may be tempting. Illegal fireworks can be extremely dangerous as they have usually been made to much lower standards than legal goods.”

Visit www.saferfireworks.com, for more information about planning a safe fireworks display.