Everyone must think how they can Keep Wales Safe this Bonfire Night and not spread coronavirus

Published: 29 October 2020

Everyone must think how they can Keep Wales Safe this Bonfire Night and not spread coronavirus

We are currently amidst a global pandemic which has resulted in many organised events being cancelled. The emergency services are preparing for a busier night than usual as people celebrate fireworks night in their own gardens.

By their very nature fireworks are explosives and can frighten people, children and especially animals and the elderly. It is important that they are only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the firework code and should be treated with care and respect.

Sadly, Bonfire night, like so many other events, will be impacted by coronavirus and the restrictions that are currently in place. Whilst we want people to enjoy themselves, it is important that everyone follows the Welsh Government advice and be mindful and respectful to neighbours who may be self-isolating. Everyone must think how they can Keep Wales Safe this Bonfire Night and not spread coronavirus.

Important things to consider
• Fireworks can be dangerous and in combination with the added risks of coronavirus you need to think very carefully before purchasing this year. Only buy legal fireworks.
• If you do buy fireworks for your own use, then always follow the Firework Code (see below).
• Wales is currently under national lockdown. This means that if you do have a firework party in your house or garden with non-permitted visitors you will be breaking the law. Additionally, you will be putting everyone at risk of catching coronavirus.
• You must not set off fireworks in parks or public open space. This is banned by all local authorities in Wales.
• No garden bonfires. The Fire Service, Police and local authorities are strongly advising the public against building private bonfires.
• People in Wales may not gather with anyone outside of their household, unless they are a single person household or a single parent, whereby they may form an extended household with one other household.
• Keep pets indoors.
• Fire smoke can also irritate airways, the skin and eyes, causing coughing, wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. People with asthma and other respiratory diseases may become unwell because of fire smoke. These people are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
• In an emergency call 999.
• Welsh Government coronavirus firebreak frequently asked questions can be found here.

The Firework Code
• Make sure all fireworks comply with approved standards and regulations.
• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
• Keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions carefully when using them.
• Light them at arm’s length using a taper and stand well back.
• Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
• Never throw fireworks and never put them in your pocket.
• Respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws to follow.
• Take care with sparklers – never give them to children under five.
• Even when they have gone out they are still hot so put sparklers in a bucket of water after use.
• Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening.