Stay safe this fireworks season
Date: 04 November 2021
The public is being urged to enjoy Bonfire Night safely on Friday 5th November.
Every year, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) is called to people who have injuries related to bonfires or fireworks – the majority of which could have been avoided.
We strongly advise that you attend a professionally organised firework display but, if you are planning on organising your own event, here are our top tips:
- 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
- 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, petrol or any accelerant on a bonfire to get it going
- Always supervise children when using sparklers
The Trust is also reminding people how to deal with burns should it be needed and that they should only call 999 if it's a life-threatening emergency and use 111 for less urgent conditions.
- Stop the burning process as soon as possible. This may mean removing the person from the area, dousing flames with water or smothering flames with a blanket. Do not put yourself at risk of getting burnt as well
- Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin. However, don't try to remove anything that is stuck to the burnt skin because this could cause more damage
- Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm water for 10 to 30 minutes. Never use ice, iced water or any creams or greasy substances such as butter
- Keep yourself or the person warm. Use a blanket or layers of clothing but avoid putting them on the injured area. Keeping warm will prevent hypothermia, where a person's body temperature drops below 35ºC (95ºF). This is a risk if you are cooling a large burnt area, particularly in young children and elderly people
- 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. Always check the manufacturer's instructions when using over the counter medication. Children under 16 years of age should not be given aspirin.
- If you are concerned seek medical advice by calling 111 or in emergencies call 999
The public is being urged to enjoy Bonfire Night safely on Friday 5th November by the East of England Ambulance Service.