We could all do with a bit of magic this year. But with organised displays cancelled due to the restrictions, are you feeling under pressure to provide the magic for the kids yourself this fireworks night? 

Many of us may never have lit a firework in our lives. So is 2020 the time to start? If you’re in two minds, we’re here to offer you some insight into the risks, so you can make an informed choice.

Plus, we’ll show how you don’t need feel pressured into holding your own display – there are ways to make it really good fun, bring the family together and make lovely memories, no fireworks needed.

Work with parents? Visit our resources hub for more safety advice to share.

Things can easily go wrong…

The problem is that, even with every precaution taken, fireworks can be unpredictable. This was the case for Maisie Roe and her family, who found out first-hand how true this can be.  

“Instead of going up, the rocket flew horizontally across the field and everyone started screaming. It was only as it exploded and Maisie’s scarf caught fire did it become apparent the flare had become caught in her clothing.”

Fortunately, lovely little Maisie has recovered well and is back to school, but the scars remain and Mum Stephanie’s message is clear:

“I wanted to tell Maisie’s story so if anyone considers having fireworks at home to think again. I wouldn’t want another family to have to go through what we have. When I think how relatively minor her burns are and how much pain she has been through it’s terrifying.”

Maisie’s parents had followed all the necessary safety precautions and yet Maisie still got into difficulties. 

So if you’re in two minds about doing your own fireworks at home, have a read of our suggestions for celebrations without the risks of fireworks.

Celebrations without the risk

  • Bring back some of the foody delights from your childhood – toffee apples, honeycomb, Parkin cake to name but a few. You could dip breadsticks in melted chocolate and sprinkles for your own edible fireworks.  Get the BBQ out for hot dogs and marshmallows, rinsed down with hot chocolate. And don’t forget the jacket potatoes in tin foil!

  • Why not go old school with apple bobbing. One of the oldest Bonfire Night traditions and it couldn’t be simpler to do.  Just fill a basin with water and throw in some apples. Then grab an apple out with just your teeth (spoiler alert: leave the stalks on to make it a bit easier for the littlies). Get the kids to ask grandparents what games they used to play and bring them back to life with your family.

  • Put the Guy back into Guy Fawkes Night – you might not be burning him on a massive bonfire, but you can have fun with the kids making your own Guy with old clothes and stuffing him with paper. Tell them the Guy Fawkes story as you stuff!

  • Get creative with the littlies – splashes of paint on black paper make a beautiful fireworks display. Or paint toilet roll tubes and use orange or yellow tissue paper for the rocket.

  • If sparklers are part of your staple, it’s best to wear gloves and have a bucket of water handy for spent sparklers, so no-one is tempted to pick up a used one. Children under five are too young to handle sparklers themselves.

  • When everyone gets too cold or too tired, cuddle up on the sofa, turn off the lights and watch fireworks displays on TV – you can find loads on YouTube.

Still keen to have your own display?

“Throughout the year, burns services see patients who have sustained both minor and major burn injuries from sparklers, fireworks or bonfires. These injuries can be avoided by taking actions to keep safe and following the Firework Safety Code.” - Specialist burns nurse, Mary Kennedy, Nottingham University NHS Trust

If you are keen to do your own fireworks, please do make sure you have all the information you need to do it safely. Read our article on buying and using fireworks safely.

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