Firework safety and keeping children safe at Halloween and Bonfire Night

Halloween and Bonfire night are two events eagerly anticipated by many and dreaded by others. Scarily this time of year always results in a surge in road accidents, sharps injuries and burns. Let’s try and make this year safer. Please read our tips on firework safety to try and make this time of year memorable for all the right reasons. 

Firework safety and keeping children safe at Halloween 


Halloween is now synonymous with Trick or Treat and although this is great fun for families, many others find it intimidating and distressing.

It is important to remind children only to approach houses displaying an obvious sign such as a pumpkin to show they are actively participating in the festivities. If there is no indication that they want to be involved, then please leave them alone.

Some decorations and costumes can be very frightening. Always hold small children’s hands tightly in case they are suddenly scared and bolt. Be particularly careful around roads. Older children should be reminded about the importance of staying together (although not going to front doors as an intimidating large group), remaining polite and keeping safe around roads.

Fancy dress costumes tend to not be waterproof or flame resistant. Ensure your children remain warm and dry by wearing layers of clothes underneath costumes and taking a waterproof with you.

Fire Safety tips from the Office for Product Safety and Standards and the Child Accident Prevention Trust.


Loose clothing can catch fire if it gets too close to a burning candle.  The key safety trip if you’re going out to scare, is to know what to wear.


If possible, buy from a reputable store or website. Cheap imported costumes may not meet UK safety standards and may carry fake safety labels.


Look for a costume with a CE mark. This doesn’t mean it won’t catch light. But it has been tested for fire safety so it should burn more slowly. There is a new safety symbol, the UKCA (UK conformity assessed mark) which has been introduced as Britain plans to leave the European Union.


Campaigns following the horrendous burn injuries suffered by Claudia Winkleman’s daughter have resulted in the British Retail Consortium introducing stricter fire safety tests for children’s dressing-up costumes. Many reputable retailers and manufacturers in the UK have signed up to this voluntary code. There should be a label that stating: “This garment has undergone additional safety testing for flammability”.


Encourage children to layer up. If children wear clothes under their dressing-up costumes, there will be a layer of protection between the costume and their skin. This can help protect their skin if their costume catches fire. Be careful with tights and leggings that can melt onto the skin.


Without scaring them, talk to children and teach them to Stop, Drop and Roll just in case the worst happens. The instinct is to run. It Is a good idea to practice at home stopping, dropping to the ground, covering their face with their hands, and rolling over a few times to put out the flames.


Candles and lit pumpkins always add to the spooky atmosphere but can be dangerous. Keep them well out of the way from trick or treaters, don’t put them on steps or paths. Keep them clear from any Hallowe’en decorations that might catch light.


Remember not to put candles on any surface that could burn. And, in all the excitement, don’t forget to blow them out when you’re done.

Trick or Treat sweets are unlikely to be the freshest or most hygienic and will not have been screened for anyone with a nut allergy! Discourage children from eating them in the dark and to refrain until you can inspect them properly.

Firework safety FirstAidforLife


It is always safest to attend a properly regulated public firework display. However, if you are planning to hold a firework display at home; it is crucial that you prepare in advance:

Make sure you have an appropriately stocked first aid kit, a bucket of sand, immediate access to plenty of water, a fire blanket and a bottle of sterile saline to irrigate eyes should sparks or debris be blown into them. Check all your fireworks conform to British Standards and that you have sufficient space to ignite them safely.

Remember many pets in particular find fireworks extremely frightening. They have no idea why these explosions are suddenly going off. Ensure they have a safe place to hide. Read our guide for pets and fireworks here.

Despite all the precautions, things can go wrong and every year during the four weeks around November the 5th, around 1,000 people suffer injuries from fireworks.

First Aid for Burns: Scalds from hot drinks, or burns from fire

Hold the affected area under cool, running water for a full 20 minutes. Keep the casualty warm and look out for signs of shock. Any loose clothing and jewellery should be removed as quickly as possible but NEVER remove anything that has become stuck to a burn. If a child is burnt and the area is blistered and larger than a 50 pence piece; phone for an ambulance straight away. Once the burn has been cooled for at least 15 /20 minutes, the burn can be loosely covered with cling film or inserted into a sterile plastic bag if appropriate –alternatively keep running it under water until the paramedic arrives. All burns should be assessed by a medical professional.


  • Touch the burn
  • Remove anything stuck to the burn
  • Use lotions, ointments or creams
  • Use adhesive dressings
  • Break blisters

If clothing is on fire, remember: stop, drop, wrap and roll.

Try to prevent the casualty from panicking or running – as any movement or breeze will fan the flames causing them to spread and making things worse. Help the casualty drop to the ground and wrap them in a blanket, coat, or rug to smother the flames. Protect yourself from the fire.

We cover first aid for burns on all our courses as well as CPR, recovery position, choking and most common medical emergencies. Please come and join us.


Written by Emma Hammett at First Aid for Life

First Aid for Life is an award-winning, fully regulated first aid training business providing tailored first aid courses for groups and individuals. Our trainers are highly experienced medical, health and emergency services professionals. All our courses cover first aid for burns, CPR, choking and most common medical emergencies and adults, babies and children. We also run First Aid for Dogs.

Award-winning first aid training tailored to your needs – Please visit our site and learn more about our practical and online courses. It is vital to keep your skills current and refreshed.

It is strongly advised that you attend a fully regulated Practical or Online First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Please visit or call 0208 675 4036 for more information about our courses.

First Aid for Life is a multi-award-winning, fully regulated first aid training provider. Our trainers are highly experienced medical, health and emergency services professionals who will tailor the training to your needs. Courses for groups or individuals at our venue or yours.

First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

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