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Firework Party Safety

Date Added: October 31, 2008 04:38:43 PM
Author: Anonymous

Organising a Party on Fireworks Night   by Sam D Goddard

"Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November. Gunpowder, Treason and Plot..."

Fireworks Night, Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes' Night is celebrated every year on the 5th November. The day commemorates the failed plot of Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London on that day in 1605. Fortunately Guy was caught and arrested before he had a chance to detonate the 800kg of gunpowder that he had hidden in the cellar below the government head-quarters of James I.

The gunpowder plot is remembered every year with increasing popularity, even now after over four hundred years, families and communities around the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand can be found building bonfires, making Guys and setting off extravagant fireworks in an attempt to imagine what would have happened if the gunpowder plot had gone to plan.

These are the three main ingredients for a successful fireworks night party, along with good food, usually hot and filling to keep guests sustained whilst standing outside on a cold autumn evening. It is also popular to provide live music on these occasions for an evening's entertainment.

These parties are usually held in large open spaces such as football and rugby clubs, school fields and recreation areas, however, there is no reason why you cannot throw a party for your family and friends in the space of your own back garden.

Firstly, the 'guy', obviously named after the eponymous hero of the gunpowder plot. These are large dummies, stuffed with flammable materials such as straw and newspaper and dressed in old clothes. In a rather disturbing fashion, the sinister guys are thrown onto the bonfire and the effigy is burnt as punishment for his treasonous conspiracy. At large events, the guys that have been made by local families are lined up in a parade and visitors can vote for the best by paying a small tip, this is where the saying "penny for the guy" comes from.

Next on the list is the bonfire itself. There are many safety considerations to bear in mind when creating a bonfire. Always make sure that your guests are kept at a safe distance away from the fire, that any flammable or explosive materials are stored well away and that there is a plentiful supply of water close to hand should the fire begin to spread out of hand.

Before lighting the bonfire, you should always make sure that no small creatures have set up home between the pieces of wood, as wood stacks are a popular habitat for British wildlife such as hedgehogs.

Finally, the fireworks are an essential element of any party on the 5th November. Be sure to invest in magnificent fireworks in order for the guests to really enjoy the celebration. You will not have to spend a fortune in order to provide yourself with everything you need in order to make things work according to your plans. On the contrary to popular belief, fireworks don't have to be too expensive to create an impressive display. There are far too many varieties of fireworks to list them all, however, some of the most popular types of fireworks are rockets, Catherine wheels, sparklers, roman candles and peonies. You should be fully aware that you must provide your party with professional services in order for everything to go according to your initial plans. Therefore, the fireworks must be presented by somebody who is responsible and well trained in health and safety in order to make sure that no one is hurt during their display. In 2003, there were 1,362 incidents where the emergency services were called to injuries caused by fireworks. Of these, more than 1,000 happened at private fireworks parties or in the street and almost 700 of the victims were younger than 15. Surprisingly, the second most common cause of injury was the household sparkler, this is very disconcerting as these are a popular novelty for children. Guy Fawkes Night is all about fireworks and having fun while watching their display and this celebration should not be spoiled by unfortunate and undesirable accidents. Fireworks are explosions and you must not forget this when planning the perfect Fireworks Night party.

How about hiring a photographer to document the party and fireworks display? Be sure to notify the photographer of the nature of the party as he will need to purchase special camera lenses to capture the fireworks successfully on film. Some photographers can bring along all of their digital developing and printing equipment and have the photographs ready for your guests to purchase and take home at the end of the night as a reminder of the fantastic display.

Food that you can think of serving to your guests should match the theme of the night as well as being suitable to serve and eat outdoors. I think that it is really enjoyable to light a barbecue and serve hot dogs and burgers with fried onions, mustard and relish inside a soft bun. Food like this can be eaten with your hands whilst standing and watching the fireworks display. Another great idea is to serve hot soup in mugs to keep your guests warm during the evening. Of course, don't forget to provide a selection of hot and cold drinks, both alcoholic and soft. If you are serving alcoholic drinks, make sure that there is a designated 'non-drinker' to make sure everyone gets home safely at the end of the evening.

Although fireworks and bonfires must be treated with great care, the resulting celebration can be very successful indeed, as long as safety is always considered first and foremost.

Always remember the following rules and display them at your party if necessary:

Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin.

Use one at a time, replacing the lid immediately.

NEVER put fireworks in your pocket.

Read the instructions carefully.

NEVER use a naked flame.

Light fireworks at arm's length.

Stand well back and NEVER return to a firework after it has been lit.

Ensure all children are supervised.

NEVER throw fireworks.

Keep all pets and animals indoors.

Take care of sparklers, wear gloves and dispose of them in a bucket of water as soon as they are finished.


About the Author
Sam D Goddard has worked in the party and events industry for many years and has a wealth of knowledge on creating fun party experiences for all the family.



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