Ambulance service warns of firework dangers

Date published: 05 November 2019

As Bonfire Night fast approaches and displays planned up and down the region, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is urging everyone to remember simple safety tips to avoid preventable injuries.

Fireworks look spectacular in the sky but they can be unpredictable and dangerous so it’s really important to buy from a reputable supplier and follow the safety instructions on the box.

The ambulance service often sees a rise in emergency calls on Bonfire Night, particularly for burns from fireworks which can cause life-changing or even life-threatening injuries if they’re not handled properly.

Last year, the trust saw an 18 per cent increase in burns or scold related incidents over Bonfire Night weekend when compared to the previous month and already this year, there has been a number of injuries as a result of fireworks.

Steve Cremin, NWAS Consultant Paramedic (Interim), said: “Bonfire Night is a great time of year for families and friends to get together and enjoy the fabulous displays but it’s important to take some time to think about safety.

“Many injuries from fireworks can be easily avoided with a bit of extra care, we advise people to attend organised events where possible as these are often safer, not to mention less expensive (and they usually have the best displays!).

“If you are using your own fireworks, allocate a sensible adult to be in charge and keep children a safe distance away. It’s best to lay off the alcohol until afterwards and never return to a lit firework.”

If accidents do occur, here’s some advice on how to treat minor burns:

  • Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin, including babies' nappies. But do not try to remove anything that's stuck to the burnt skin, as this could cause more damage.
  • Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes as soon as possible after the injury.
  • Cover the burn with cling film. Put the cling film in a layer over the burn, rather than wrapping it around a limb. A clean clear plastic bag can be used for burns on your hand.
  • Treat the pain from a burn with paracetamol or ibuprofen.

For more serious burns, get further medical assistance from your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department. NHS 111 Online is also available for urgent healthcare advice,

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, dial 999.

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