With Bonfire Night approaching, West Midlands Ambulance Service have issued advice on how to have fun and stay safe.
Although the number of Bonfire Night-related injuries has fallen in recent years, many people still bear the scars to prove just what a dangerous time it can be. A rocket can reach 150 miles per hour, while even the seemingly-innocuous sparkler reaches temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius, twenty times the boiling point of water.
Already this year, West Midlands Ambulance Service has had to treat a number of patients for injuries to their hands. In previous years, there have been patients who have suffered injuries to their fingers, arms, faces and eyes after accidents with some patients still receiving treatment a year later. Around half of all firework-related injuries are to children aged under 17, and can cause a lifelong impact on the victim’s health.
This weekend, please remember:
- Only buy fireworks from a legitimate retailer
- Check the fireworks you buy are suitable for the size of garden and conform to the British Standard 7114
- Allow only one person to be responsible
- Have a bucket of water ready
- Have eye protection and gloves if lighting fireworks
- Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper
- Stand well back and keep others back too
- Always supervise children
- Store fireworks in a metal box, kept closed between use.
- Drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
- Go back to a firework after it has been lit, even if it hasn’t gone off
- Let children touch or pick up a discarded sparkler once it has gone out as it may still be very hot
And think about attending an organised display rather than having one yourself.
For more information on firework safety and health information, visit NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/livewell/fireworksafety