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Concerns surrounding Bonfire Night

Concerns surrounding Bonfire Night

2:52pm 4th November 2010

Yorkshire Ambulance Service Encourages Safety on Bonfire Night

In the run up to Bonfire Night, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is reminding people to be safe.
Every year ambulance crews deal with a number of patients who have firework and bonfire-related injuries, and this year will be no exception.

Last year there were 98 burn or explosion-related incidents in Yorkshire between 1st and 15th November requiring ambulance attendance, with 41 of these occurring on the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th November.

Keith Prior, Director of A&E Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said:

"Our crews will treat a number of patients, children and adults, ranging from those with minor burns to those with more serious, life-threatening injuries. 

"Fireworks used properly are safe and accidents are avoidable. However, they can cause devastating injuries if safety precautions are not followed.

"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 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 Direct on 0845 4647.)


Message from RoSPA

RoSPA is urging families to remember the firework code for safer celebrations at home.
Firework injuries suffered in the four weeks around Bonfire Night typically result in about 1,000 people seeking treatment at accident and emergency departments across Britain.

Around half of such injuries happen at family/private parties and a quarter in the street/ public place. A much smaller proportion of the injuries happen at large public displays.
The firework code:
" 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.

Under-18s have accounted for around half of firework injuries in previous years. RoSPA urges that only adults should deal with firework displays and the lighting of fireworks. Children should watch from a safe distance. The law prevents under-18s from buying "adult" fireworks (the type suitable for garden displays) and carrying them in a public place.

Shopkeeper say there's troubled by the sale of fireworks

"Damned if we do, damned if we don't"

The shopworkers experience of policing age-restricted sales.

Usdaw has released survey results that reveal over 75% of shopworkers have experienced problems asking for proof of age ID from customers and that most shopworkers are worried about facing criminal prosecution or disciplinary action from their employer if they get a decision about a sale wrong.

The survey shows that a shocking 65% of shopworkers have been subjected to verbal abuse as a result of asking for ID, while over 16% have been threatened with violence and more than 2% have actually been physically assaulted.

Over 70% of shopworkers say they are worried about facing criminal prosecution if they get a decision wrong with over 60% worried about being disciplined by their employer.

John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said:

"Usdaw wants the Government to launch an awareness campaign about age-restricted sales and we'd also like them to introduce a single and voluntary national entitlement card for young people that would show proof of age. This would make it much easier for workers to check a person's age when needed."

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