A Reminder - Fire Safety for Firework Celebrations
- Date: Wednesday 3rd November 2010
The latest firework injury figures, taken in 2006, found that 990 people went to hospital with a firework-related injury in the four weeks around Bonfire Night. However, fireworks should not be avoided, and provided that they are handled correctly, can provide much entertainment for all.
The Firework Code
People should watch and enjoy fireworks from a safe distance and, due to the potential danger involved, only adults should light fireworks.
• Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable
• Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time
• Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch
• Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back
• Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
• Never return to a firework once it’s been lit
• Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
• Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
• Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
• Make sure the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving
• Keep pets indoors
Public and Private Displays
A well organised public display can massively reduce the likelihood of injury. However, should you choose to host or attend a private firework party, it is important that careful planning is put into place prior to the event.
Jo Stagg from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says “Make sure there is enough space in your garden for the fireworks and the spectators.” She adds: “Never return to a firework once it’s been lit as it could go off in your face.”
Jayne Skippen, an emergency department matron at Milton Keynes Hospital, says “Most of the firework related injuries happen at private parties or in the street, rather than at organised displays.”
Fireworks can be associated with a variety of types of injuries, such as burns and damage to eyes. It is important that First Aid be administered correctly at the time of the injury. For more serious incidents, professional medical attention should immediately be sought. For more information relating to First Aid at firework events, visit the excellent NHS website, which includes a health A to Z section, covering injuries such as burns and scolds.
The 5th of November
To ensure that you don’t remember Bonfire Night for the wrong reasons, follow the firework code and enjoy yourself!