This article was written by Chrissy Chambers.
If there is one thing that is almost as well-loved as football in the UK, it is undoubtedly fireworks. Fireworks of all shapes and sizes are a familiar sight at a range of special occasions and celebrations across the country. In fact, the British love fireworks so much that they spend more than £40 million a year on it.
This year marks the 413th anniversary of the Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 with more than 20 million people expected to once again join in the celebrations. With fireworks being so popular it is important to adhere to stringent safety precautions at all times. These precautions don’t only entail the safe setting off of the fireworks but the safe storage of them as well. Here are a few basic guidelines that will enable you to safely store your pyrotechnics until use.
Storing fireworks at your home
When storing your fireworks at home it is paramount that you keep it in a secure, dry place. It is important to ensure that the fireworks are kept away from any sources of heat and ignition which includes open flames, heaters, and people smoking.
If you want to keep your fireworks in your garden shed make sure it is free of dampness. You can wrap them up in bin liners or plastic bags just to make sure no moisture gets to them. Where possible, store fireworks in their original packaging and never dispose of unused fireworks in a regular garbage bin.
Don’t store your fireworks near any flammable materials, gas pipes or petrol tanks and if you have children or animals, keep it behind lock and key.
Firework should not be played with
Fireworks are not toys with even a regular sparkler burning at temperatures of up to 2,000°C, which is more than 20 times the boiling point of water. According to the NHS, more than 500 children younger than 16 end up in A&E every year during the 4 weeks surrounding bonfire night alone, highlighting the immense importance of safe storage and handling of fireworks.
Simply hiding your fireworks behind a cupboard or in a drawer is not going to prevent a curious child from finding it and possibly causing grave harm to both themselves and others.
Legal regulations for storing fireworks
For storage purposes, consumer fireworks are generally classified either Hazard Type 3 or Hazard Type 4 (usually equivalent to 1.3G or 1.4G or, if the fireworks are varied, they will all be classified as Hazard Type 3. If you only purchase the regular selection boxes and sparklers from the grocery store or small quantities of other fireworks from a firework dealer a day or two before you use them you don’t generally have to apply for a special permit. If you do, however, plan on buying large amounts of powerful fireworks you will be subject to the national firework storage laws.
As striking and entertaining as what fireworks displays may be it is important to never underestimate the danger they can pose if not stored and set off in a responsible manner By taking the time and making the effort to store your fireworks correctly you will be ensured a beautiful fireworks display without any human casualties and damage to property.