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The Firework Code

Posted by Big Boo on November 4th, 2008

The thing I always looked forward to most when Bonfire Night was approaching was the fireworks, but as we all know fireworks aren’t the safest things in the world, and so the Firework Code was produced to warn people of the dangers and how to safely enjoy fireworks.  The core Firework Code that I remember stated the following.

  1. Always keep fireworks in a tightly closed, metal tin.
  2. Never return to a firework once lit.
  3. Always light fireworks at arms length.
  4. Keep pets indoors.
  5. Stand well back.
  6. Never fool with fireworks.

That last one always made me laugh as it sounded too comical to be an official rule, but it does cover all the possibilities of stupid things people could do such as throwing them or tying things to them.  Anyway, it seems things have moved on a bit since then, as the fire brigade’s mascot Welephant shows on his web page about fireworks.

Anyway, the Firework Code consists of good advice that everyone should heed, as some fireworks would appear downright deadly!  As a quick aside, my wife’s mother is originally from Mauritius, and last year we went to visit the relatives and attend a family wedding.  One of the traditions there is to set off a firecracker as the wedding party depart the house, presumably to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.  I can see why!  I suddenly noticed the bright red firecracker hanging on the garden fence just as someone was about to light it.  I had enough time to shout “fingers in ears” to everyone before the most deafening series of bangs started.  With my ears still ringing and the generated smoke still hanging in the air, I could understand why these are banned in the UK!

Every year in the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night the same old public service films would be dragged out to warn of the dangers, and my favourite of these was the one with the little girl with the bandaged hand who had picked up a spent sparkler whilst it was still hot.  I especially love the fact it was so well bandaged she couldn’t get her mitten on, so you could see it dangling on elastic out of her coat sleeve – I remember my Mum used to do that to stop me losing gloves!  Do they still air films like this today to warn about fireworks?  I really don’t know, but I can’t say I’ve seen one in recent years.

The video below is for a shortened version of the little bandaged girl advert, because I certainly remember a longer one where the girl is initially out shopping with her Mother when they bump into a friend of her Mum.  The poor little girl is then humiliated and berated further as her Mum recounts what happened, ending with a really patronising “Silly Girl!” comment.  Still, it did the job, and it certainly taught me not to fool with fireworks!

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