Remember Remember stay safe this November

2 November 2016

London Ambulance Service is reminding people to be careful when handling fireworks and not end up a bonfire night casualty.

Ambulance staff treated 33 patients last year for firework and bonfire-related injuries and is urging people to stay safe as bonfire night approaches.*

Medical Director Dr Fenella Wrigley said: “Around 5 November our ambulance crews will treat a number of patients, children and adults, ranging from those with minor burns to those with more serious, life-threatening 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.

“Throughout the celebrations please remember to keep a watchful eye on your children and to keep them out of harm’s way and if you are handling or lighting fireworks yourself remember to follow all the safety rules.

“Fireworks used properly are safe and accidents are avoidable. However, they can cause devastating injuries or even death if safety precautions are not followed or judgement is impaired through alcohol consumption.

“We recommend that people go along to a professionally-organised public display. But, if you are planning to host your own event, we urge you to exercise caution and make safety a priority to ensure everyone has a good time without getting hurt.”

In the event of an accident with fireworks or fires you should:
• extinguish any flames if the casualty is alight
• use cold water (ideally cold running water) to cool the burnt area and reduce pain
• not remove burnt clothing which has stuck to the skin
• not use any creams, oils etc
• seek urgent medical help, calling 999 if injuries are serious. (For minor injuries consider visiting a minor injuries unit or contact NHS 111)

If you or a member of your family does suffer any type of burn or accident, you should seek appropriate medical attention or advice as soon as possible.

For more information on firework safety, please visit The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Safer Fireworks website www.saferfireworks.com or The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents website at http://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/fireworks-safety/

ENDS

Notes to editors

*The London Ambulance Service attended 33 bonfire or firework related injuries between 19 October and 15 November last year.