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Bonfire night and firework safety

Remember, Remember the 5th November, Bonfire Treason and Plot! Yes – it’s that time of year again when we commemorate the foiling of the gunpowder plot to blow up Parliament in 1605.

Tonight is bonfire night and while we all enjoy seeing the fireworks, each year there are approximately 1000  injuries caused by careless handling of fireworks and bonfires. In the excitement that surrounds bonfire parties some basic rules are sometimes forgotten.

Did you know sparkler temperatures can reach up to 2000 C? That’s a lot hotter than the boiling point of water.
Rockets travel to a speed of 150 miles/hour- not easy to leap out of the way from those.

The best way to see fireworks is to go to an organised display, but if you are planning on having a few fireworks at home, these simple rules may help.

RoSPA’s Firework Code

Please take care  and follow the firework code (RoSPA):

  • 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 if necessary.
  • 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 has 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 that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving
  • Teach children to hold sparklers away from their body and not to wave them near anyone or run whilst holding them.
  • Teach children not to pick up used sparklers or fireworks- they will still be hot/may explode

If you suffer any burns:

  1. cool the area immediately with cool water for at least 10 minutes.  This helps to take the heat out of the wound, helps with pain relief and reduces some of the swelling.
  2. Remove clothing providing it isn’t stuck. If it is stuck, leave it on.
  3. Remove jewelery from hands etc. – burns will cause fingers to swell, and circulation to the fingers may rapidly become impaired.
  4. DON’T put lotions or potions or butter etc on the burn.
  5. Once you have cooled the area cover it with a suitable burns dressing, or clingfilm if proper dressings are not available.
  6. Seek medical advice if you are at all concerned, and in any case if the burn is larger than the casualty’s hand, if the skin is white or charred, or on the face, hands or other sensitive areas where blistering occurs.

Following these simple rules should mean that bonfire night is an enjoyable affair.

Wrap up warmly and have fun everyone!

For Further Advice

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents  (RoSPA)have Safer Fireworks website with lots of useful information about firework safety

The UK Government also has a useful firework safety website, covering firework safety and the law.

First Aid training for minor burn injuries is covered in the Emergency First Aid training course syllabus, while the full 3-day First aid at Work training course covers burns in more detail.

Firework Fun on Bonfire Night

Just a quick reminder for any of you planning to have a bonfire party this weekend  5th November, to take extra care with fireworks.

Fireworks are hot, fast & fun

Did you know:

  • a sparkler reaches 2000°C? That is 20 times the boiling point of water!
  • Rockets can travel at up to 150 miles per hour!

Injuries

Every year in the UK, approximately 1000 people are seriously injured by fireworks, many of them at parties held at home. Most injuries are to the hands and face which can require grafting and lengthy stays in hospital.

To avoid injury, one option is to go to an organised firework display.  However, if you are going to hold a bonfire party at home there are few basic things you should remember to do.  Above all, follow the firework code:

Firework Top Ten Safety Code for Adults

Young people should watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance and follow the safety rules for using sparklers.

Only adults should deal with firework displays and the lighting of fireworks. They should also take care of the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used.

  1. Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
  2. Don’t drink alcohol if yuo are going to be setting off fireworks.
  3. Keep fireworks in an closed box.
  4. Follow the instructions on each firework.
  5. Light fireworks with a taper, keeping them at arm’s length.
  6. Stand well back.
  7. Never go near a firework that has been lit – even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
  8. Never put fireworks in your pocket, or throw them.
  9. Always supervise children around fireworks.
  10. Light sparklers one at a time, and use gloves.
  11. Never give sparklers to a child under five years old
  12. Keep pets indoors
  13. Don’t let fireworks off after 11pm

First Aid Treatment of Firework Injuries

If you are accidentally injured by a firework the important thing is to cool the area immediately with cold water, and to keep cooling for a Minimum of 10 minutes. This takes the heat out of the wound and prevents further “cooking” of the skin.

Remove jewellery where possible and clothing if it hasn’t stuck.  Then wrap the area in clingfilm to keep it clean and protected and seek medical advice.

Lastly, Have Fun But Remember to BE SAFE, NOT SORRY

For Further Advice

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents  (RoSPA)have Safer Fireworks website with lots of useful information about firework safety

The UK Government also has a useful firework safety website, covering firework safety and the law.

First Aid training for minor burn injuries is covered in the Emergency First Aid training course syllabus, while the full 3-day First aid at Work training course covers burns in more detail.

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