For many people here in the UK, Bonfire Night remains a major winter highlight, and we all love celebrating it. Regardless of your views on Guy Fawkes as an individual, it’s no surprise that so many children and adults alike are still hypnotised by the lights and colours each year. Sadly, lots of public events aren’t going ahead this year, as Covid 19 is still a threat to a large proportion of the population. That means lots of people are preparing to do their own fireworks nights in their own back gardens this year – and if that’s something you’re planning yourself, there are a couple of key tips it’s worth keeping in mind. Your composite fencing panels, for example, aren’t flammable, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be damaged during the night. Even more importantly though, it’s all about the safety of your family and friends in attendance. Before you get started The very first thing to do is make sure that you’ve got enough space in your garden to safely put on your fireworks display. If you decide you haven’t, there’s not much point in progressing with everything else! You need to make sure that everyone is able to keep a safe distance from where the fireworks are being launched, and that you’ve got enough room to go back and forth to fetch more while others are in the air. Take care to have a bucket of water handy for any emergency, and that you can get to it in seconds if you need to! Now, to be honest, here at North Valley Composites, we’d recommend skipping out on the bonfire, even if you think you have enough room. Not just to protect your composite fencing, but as a matter of general safety too. In public events they tend to be located in massive spaces, and for good reason – it can be harder to keep a safe distance from them in gardens, and if any smoke ends up drifting onto a nearby highway, it can end up blocking the view of drivers. If that happens, you could find yourself on the receiving end of a £5000 fine. We’d also recommend letting your neighbours know about when you’ll be having your fireworks display (if they’re not already invited!). If they’re pet owners for example, it can make the night a lot easier and less stressful for them if they know the rough time when the fireworks are going to end. During the fireworks night itself The safety of your family members and guests is obviously going to be your top priority on the night itself, so start by making sure that all pets are kept indoors, and that children have at least one adult looking after them. Everyone needs to be dressed appropriately – not just for the cold, but without too much loose clothing, such as long scarves, as these can pose a fire hazard. In fact, on that note – we’d recommend keeping the alcohol indoors for the duration of the display. Everyone loves a cup of mulled wine at this time of year, but if you’re in a relatively enclosed space such as a garden, the proximity of the alcohol (an accelerant) to the fireworks (explosives) might be tempting fate a bit. The fireworks themselves should only be let off one at a time, and only by adults! That age-old bit of safety advice about fireworks still stands, too; never go near one that’s been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode. In the unlikely (but technically possible) event that the clothing of any of your guests does catch fire, make sure they know to stop, drop and roll, as this starves the flame of oxygen and effectively extinguishes it. Finally, it’s a good idea to make sure that your display finishes well before 11pm, as this is the legal cut-off point for fireworks displays – otherwise they become a nuisance. The law sometimes gives a little bit more or less time either side of this cut-off point on certain days of the year, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Besides, let’s be honest, it’s just nicer for the neighbours, isn’t it? Of course, in the event that one of your composite fencing panels does get damaged somehow, it’s still not the worst case scenario, especially if your guests are still OK. And of course, we can always help with replacement panels right here at North Valley Composites. We provide composite fencing in a variety of different colours like Golden Oak, Driftwood, and Black Ash. And if you need any help narrowing down your options, that’s what we’re here for. If you’ve got any questions or need any advice, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01282 677300 to talk to a friendly member of our team, and we’ll be only too happy to see how we can help.