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The History of Bonfire Night and How to Celebrate Safely

Guy Fawkes Night is an annual celebration held up and down the nation on the 5th of November, or the Friday before. Bonfires and fireworks are abundant in every city, town, and village, during this weekend every year as people remember Guy Fawkes’ failed treason attempt to blow up the Palace of Westminster in 1605.

Why do We Celebrate With Bonfires and Fireworks?

We commemorate the 5th of November because of a foiled ‘gunpowder plot’ that hoped to blow up the Palace of Westminster along with the Protestant King and his heir. In hopes of reinstating the Catholic rulership of England, 13 plotters placed huge amounts of gunpowder and firewood in an underground room below the palace which they hoped to ignite. Their plans were scuppered when under close inspection, the gunpowder was discovered, along with Guy Fawkes and fuses.

The fireworks and bonfires that are still held to this day are a celebration of the survival of King James, and by extension, Protestantism in England. However, modern-day festivities are much more family-friendly and mostly about watching impressive fireworks displays while sipping on a hot chocolate.

Staying Safe During Bonfire Night

Every year there are avoidable injuries sustained by improper, and unsafe, bonfires and fireworks. Here are some things you can do to make sure that you and your family are safe this bonfire night.

Keep Your Distance

It’s important to make sure that you keep your distance from fireworks and bonfires as they can behave unpredictably. It’s advised that you attend a local fireworks celebration rather than hold your own as organised festivities will have completed a fire risk assessment and have first-aiders on hand in case of any emergencies.

Look for Hazards Nearby

If you are going to hold a bonfire/fireworks celebration at home, make sure that you are aware of any potential hazards that could arise during the night. Overhead cables as well as nearby shrubbery and trees need to be considered if you’re going to be held in your garden.  Aerosols, or highly flammable materials should be kept far away from any fireworks or bonfires, also. Keeping a good supply of water nearby is also a good idea for helping to cool down your bonfire if it does become too large or uncontrollable.

Using Sparklers Safely

Sparklers are commonplace at bonfire celebrations and are fun to use and play with; there are things to consider about sparklers regarding safety, as they do get very hot while burning and can cause injury. It’s important that you don’t give sparklers to very young children, and supervise older children while playing with them. Hold sparklers away from the body, and don’t wave them too close to anyone else.

EK Fire Protection

Fire safety is important both at home and at work; beyond your upcoming bonfire night celebrations, consider bringing a fire safety company into your workplace. EK Fire Protection provides exceptional fire protection services for your business such as emergency lighting installations, fire extinguisher rental, and fire alarm installation.

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