When Fireworks Go Wrong…

Singed hair, fireworks gone in the wrong direction, burning yourselves with sparklers and you’ve lost your pet cat….these are just some of things that can go wrong on Bonfire Night. Jack Cummings goes out to hear your horror stories…

Baby, you’re a firework!

‘A friend of mine was hosting a bonfire night in his over-sized back garden. It went off without a hitch with impressive posh fireworks. After plenty of admiration and we came to the grand finale, a monstrosity worthy of having Buzz Lightyear taped to it. Since it was heavy, we made sure it was staked safely into the ground: we didn’t want it flying back at us. In fact we had dug it in a little too well and it wasn’t going to fly at all. We lit the fuse and the firework stubbornly refused to leave the ground. Imagining our impending doom, we pressed our backs to the rear wall of the house; cowering as showers of phosphorous brilliance scattered in our direction. It was 
over in seconds and luckily we were all fine, though judging from the charred mud where the firework was lit I don’t think Buzz would have fared so well.’


‘A firework hit me in the face last year! My neighbour put on their own makeshift firework display but didn’t seem to know what he was doing. He fired up the rocket and it fell straight to the floor and launched across the ground. It shot back towards my friend, hit her in the shin and rebounded onto my forehead. Miraculously it didn’t hurt either of us and just left a temporary red mark on my brow. I think the whole ordeal put me off homemade firework displays for life.’

‘My rich friend was hosting a bonfire party in his back-garden. He presented us with about fifteen boxes of firewood and ordered us to load them up, though he insisted that we avoided the last box in the pile. After a couple of drinks, we began to load the boxes on the fire until there were none left. Finally we lit the bonfire. The rich friend came over and demanded to know where we had hidden the last box. He then revealed that this particular box had been full of impressive fireworks and had been saved for the grand finale. The bonfire triggered the fireworks, resulting in a scene not dissimilar from a war film. Fireworks were sporadically going off and everybody was rolling and diving out the way. We had to hide inside the house for half an hour until we could be sure it was safe.’

‘Not even public firework displays can be totally safe! I live near the coast and the harsh November winds have a habit of taking control of the show. One time the fireworks were carefully launched into the sky but the sparks were blown back over the crowds. It was chaotic and we all ran off screaming. Understandably we now launch the fireworks from the ocean.’


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