* Prices may differ from that shown
With bonfire night less than two weeks away, it's time to start thinking about fireworks and other fun activities to do with the kids. I received these sparklers as a free gift after buying the kids' Halloween costumes from the Henbrandt website - the normal price is £1.50 for a packet of six sparklers, which may not make them the cheapest but it's reasonable enough considering the quality.
The sparklers themselves are around nine inches long with a burning portion of just over five inches, this leaves a long 'handle' on each sparkler and prevents little hands getting too close to the sputtering sparks emitted once lit. I'm a total worrier about these things and always make the kids wear thick gloves (as advised), I'm impressed by how cool the metal handle remains during use though and when I held one myself without gloves I found I couldn't feel any heat at all on my fingers until the sparkler had burned down pretty much to the end. They're much easier to light than some disappointing sparklers I bought from B&Q last year; these require only the flame from a lighter to be held to the thick gritty end for a few seconds, we haven't had one fail to light in the three packs we've used so far this year.
The sparklers don't burn down particularly quickly, I haven't stood there with a stopwatch timing them but the 'sparkle time' is about average compared to other sparklers we've used. From the moment it's lit the sparkler starts to throw out large sparks and the requisite 'bsssssssssssh' noise starts, Hollie used one last night and I was really impressed by the strength of the light given out by these as when she wrote her name in the air the H was only just starting to disappear when she got to the first L - I grabbed one and write it quicker (in joined up writing!) and the whole name was visible for a second or two before the darkness overtook it again.
As with any other sparklers you must take a huge amount of care both when the kids are using them and also when they go out - these things stay hot for an incredible length of time and at this time of year you always hear about horrible burns children have received after going back to pick up a dead (and seemingly cold) sparkler. My top tip is to have a bucket of cold water ready and when the sparkler has gone out simply throw it into the bucket - this cools the metal down almost instantaneously and also prevents them lying on the floor for inquisitive children to notice.
I recommend these sparklers completely; they burn evenly with a strong 'ball' of sparkles at the end, have a safety conscious long handle and are a huge amount of fun on these dark chilly evenings that are drawing in. As long as you're sensible and watch your children as they play they're in no danger - but seriously, don't take your eye off them for a second while they're playing with sparklers as the burns they can leave on a child's hand are horrendous.