How to Plan a Safe and Fun Fireworks Display in Your Garden

Fireworks display can be even more magical when enjoyed from the comfort of your own garden. There’s no need to travel far or brave the crowds; instead, delight in the night sky lighting up from the confines of your log cabin or summerhouse.

However, these explosives can be dangerous, so they must be handled with great care. Here’s a helpful guide to planning a safe and fun fireworks display at home.

Follow the ‘Firework Code

Fireworks festival over Barakka Gardens in Valletta.

(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

While most people use garden fireworks responsibly, they can cause serious injury or accidents in the wrong hands. They should be treated with respect and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Firework Code.

This regulation covers several safety measures that users should follow to ensure safety and enjoyment, including:

  • Fireworks must not be set off between 11 pm and 7 am, except on special occasions like New Year’s Eve. In short, plan your display and make sure it finishes before 11 pm.
  • Only purchase products marked with UKCA or CE labels suitable for use indoors and in gardens.
  • Store fireworks in a sealed box or container and use them one at a time. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before lighting them.
  • Ignite fireworks at arm’s length using a torch or a firework lighter. Stand back and never return to the area where the firework has been lit.
  • Keep all naked flames, including cigarettes and bonfires, away from the firing area — we’ll discuss this further later.
  • Handle sparklers, a hand-held type of firework, with care and dispose of them in a bucket of water once they’ve burned out.
  • Children must be well-supervised at all times, and pets should be kept indoors as much as possible. In this case, watching the show from your garden room might be the safest choice. But always make sure to keep the structure, especially if it’s a wooden building, away from the firing area to prevent it from catching fire from sparks.

The Law also prohibits individuals under 18 from purchasing ‘adult’ fireworks, classified as categories 2 and 3. Category 4 fireworks are restricted for professional use only. Category 1 fireworks, such as party poppers and Christmas crackers, are considered low-hazard.

Create a Safety Zone

Close up of hand lighting fireworks.

(Image Credit: Pexels)

Always select a safe location, a.k.a. your firing area, when setting off fireworks in your garden. Choose a wide-open area away from buildings, trees, and garden furniture. Moreover, maintain a safe distance from your guests and garden building; at least 50 feet for smaller fireworks and 100 feet for larger ones.

Tips: Water your lawn and plants before the celebration so they are less likely to catch fire. Cover tall trees or shrubs near the zone with a fire-resistant tarp or sheet to protect them against sparks and debris.

Host the Perfect Firework Display

A group of three people, seen from behind, watches a display of fireworks in the night sky.

(Image Credit: Needpix)

Start with smaller fireworks and progress to larger ones, and allow time between each for effect. This allows your audience to adjust to the noise and builds anticipation for the grand finale. For instance, begin with sparklers with children, followed by foundations come after for continuous display. Save fireworks cakes and rockets for the finale to create a spectacular finish.

If you have a garden building, this can provide a more comfortable and relaxed viewing environment for the family, as it shields them from cold winds. A garden log cabin might be ideal, thanks to the insulation offered by its thick timber build. Your family and friends will need to be positioned close to the windows to get a good view of the high-up explosions. Summer houses are an excellent choice of garden building for this purpose, due to their large windows.

Fireworks should be disposed of safely and responsibly after the event. Fully extinguished them by soaking them in water before being placed in a non-flammable wheelie bin or container. Tip: Keep fire extinguishers accessible in case of emergencies. Make sure you and your guests are familiar with their operation.

In case of injuries, burns, or accidents like fire, call emergency services immediately at 999. For non-emergency advice, contact NHS 111.

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