Fireworks are a traditional part of enjoying celebrations such as Bonfire Night or New Year but they are the cause of serious accidents every year - it should be remembered that they are dangerous explosives.
The safest way to enjoy them is to go to a professionally organised event.
The Government's Fireworks Safety Campaign provides downloadable guidance leaflets and materials for organisers of firework displays for the public, retailers selling fireworks, schools and the media, including the Firework Safety Code.
Remember that pets are frightened of fireworks - always keep them indoors.
Retailers selling fireworks must be registered with Lancashire County Council, Trading Standards, 01772 533569, who investigate problems with unsafe products.
If you buy fireworks, always make sure they comply with BS:7114 and are clearly marked for their intended use 'Indoor, Garden or Display'.
- Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin.
- Use them one at a time, replacing the lid immediately.
- Never put fireworks in your pocket.
- Read the instructions carefully, using a torch or hand lamp, never use a naked flame.
- Light fireworks at arms length using a taper or a firework lighter.
- Stand well back and never return to a firework after it has been lit (it could explode in your face).
- Keep all pets and animals indoors.
- Take care of sparklers, wear gloves to hold them and dispose of sparklers in a bucket of water or sand as soon as they are finished.
Despite annual safety warnings, Bonfire Night week still ends in disaster for far too many families. Fireworks can provide fun and entertainment, but only if everyone follows the right safety procedures and remembers that fireworks can be very dangerous if misused.