As thousands prepare for a fun-filled night of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’, regional health bosses are joining forces to remind everyone to have fun this Bonfire Night, to take care with fireworks and where to go and what to do if things go wrong.
Research has shown that around 1,000 people a year in England attend hospital with a firework injury, with more than 100 people in this region being hurt from sparklers and fireworks.
The Firework Code sets out the do’s and don’ts of a safe and successful Bonfire display. It includes:
light fireworks at arm's length with a taper;
have a bucket of water ready;
always supervise children;
store fireworks in a metal box, kept closed between use;
don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks;
don’t go back to a firework after it has been lit, even if it hasn’t gone off; and
don’t let children touch or pick up a discarded sparkler once it has gone out as it may still be very hot.
Accidents happen, however, and if you or your family or friends do get injured by a firework or sparkler it’s important to know where to go for the right care.
Simon Harris, East Midlands Ambulance Service Assistant Director of Operations and Paramedic, said: “The type of horrific injuries caused by fireworks that we have seen in the past are now few and far between, however as we do not see as many injuries, it is easy to forget how dangerous fireworks, bonfires and even sparklers can be. Sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil and a rocket can reach speeds of 150mph.
“The most common injuries are to hands, followed by the eyes and face and the damage that can be caused can have a lifelong impact on an individual’s health.
“During the celebrations we ask people to keep a watchful eye on your children and to keep them out of harms way. If you are handling or lighting fireworks yourself remember to follow all the safety rules.”
Giri Rajaratnam, Deputy Director of Public Health for East Midlands Strategic Health Authority, said: “We want people to enjoy themselves this Bonfire Night but it is extremely important that they remember that fireworks, bonfires and even sparklers can be dangerous if not handled correctly.
“If you or your family do suffer any type of burn or accident then make sure you choose the best treatment in the right place at the right time.
“Be prepared and treat minor injuries yourself by ensuring your first aid kit is stocked up, or visit your pharmacist for advice and treatment. If you think medical attention is needed but it isn’t an emergency then call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 where you will get advice from a nurse. If you are still concerned about the injury visit your GP or contact the out-of-hours service and don’t forget that local walk-in centres can treat minor injuries. If the injury is critical or life threatening, for example the injured person is suffering from chest pains, severe blood loss or unconsciousness, go to A&E or call 999.”
If you need to find your nearest service, text any of the following keywords to 64746:
Doctor (for GPs)
Walk (for walk-in centres)
Pharmacy (for pharmacists)
Accident (for A&E departments)
For more information on firework safety and health information around Bonfire Night please visit the NHS Choices website at