Local lawyer cautions Wilmslow residents and businesses to be safe not sorry over the firework season

A Wilmslow law firm has urged local residents and organisations to make safety a priority as bonfire night draws near.

Hilary Meredith Solicitors on Water Lane, Wilmslow, specialises in personal injury law and has seen all too frequently the damage that bonfire night can have if safety isn’t taken into account.

Hilary Meredith, CEO at the firm believes that whilst commercially organised events are often considered the safer option for families making bonfire night plans, many organisations are put off by the myth of ‘compensation culture’ and more and more are choosing to steer clear of the displays.

“Many councils and businesses are citing excessive or confusing health & safety regulations as the reason for cancelling firework displays and events. There is no reason why these cannot go ahead, providing they are properly and responsibly organised. However, it should always be remembered that fireworks are lethal in the wrong hands and there is a high level of responsibility involved.”

At some events, both bonfires and fireworks could be on the agenda. Smoke from bonfires can be considered a nuisance to neighbours and local businesses and the Local Authority is within its right to take action if smoke from a bonfire is reported to them.

Hilary adds:

“A bonfire requires very careful planning. Organisers must make sure it is well away from trees, hedges, fences, sheds etc. and set way back from any firework display area. Flammable liquid is not to be used, and before lighting check for any animals that may have climbed into the unlit bonfire. At the end of the event, make absolutely certain that the fire is out, and dispose of the remains safely.

“As long as the potential danger is anticipated and prepared for, there is no reason why the local community cannot enjoy a fantastic evening under the stars.  Organisers can check out the guidance available from the HSE, the government and other organisations but there is so much sometimes it is difficult to follow, so we have put together a key list of points to consider which will help any event go with a bang. Preparation is key to avoid injury or worse at events such as these. Once this is in place, organisers can relax and enjoy the evening!”