One-third of people don’t know the Firework Code, new research shows


More than a third of people in the UK are unaware of the Firework Code, according to new research from RoSPA. But despite this, nearly a quarter of those who are planning on attending a display this year will be doing so at a private event.

Family safety charity RoSPA is urging people to attend organised displays this year, as you are less likely to be harmed by a firework than at a home display.

NHS data shows that last year, a total of 164 people received injuries from fireworks that were serious enough to warrant admittance to hospital, with 77 of these happening to children aged 16 or younger, with those aged 10-14 being most at-risk (40).

Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “It’s concerning that, despite only two-thirds of people being aware of the Firework Code, a quarter of those attending events this year will do so at private displays.

“We’re encouraging everyone to go to organised displays, put on by those trained in the use of fireworks – not only will you be safer, but you’re also sure of a more spectacular display.

“If you are attending a private event, or putting on your own display, we’d urge you to adhere to the Firework Code, and make sure you are buying your fireworks only from reputable retailers.”

Remember never to drink if setting up a fireworks display, and follow the Firework Code:

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm (midnight on Bonfire Night)
  2. Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time
  3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  4. Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
  5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  7. Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  10. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

For more information on fireworks and sparkler safety, see

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