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Play it safe on Bonfire Night


12:01am 4th November 2011

Fireworks can be great fun, but they can be very dangerous if not used correctly.

That means checking that they conform to stringent safety standards. 

Fireworks that are safe will contain at least one of the following markings: BS 7114, BS EN 14035, BS EN 15947 (these are safety standards that set out specifications and test procedures for fireworks) or be marked with the 'CE' mark.  

Residents are advised to make sure they buy their fireworks from a reputable shop.  

One person should be in charge of setting off the fireworks and whoever does should ensure that they have taken all of the necessary precautions.

This means reading any instructions in daylight and not consuming alcohol until they have finished setting off the fireworks.

On the night they will need a torch, a bucket of water, eye protection and gloves and a bucket of soft earth to put fireworks in.

They will also need suitable supports and launchers if they're setting off catherine wheels or rockets. 

Remember that it's illegal for anyone to set off a firework between 11pm and 7am (except on bonfire night when the time is extended to midnight).

Councillor Sandy Fraser, Cabinet member for Crime & Community Safety, said:

"Bonfire Night is a time to enjoy with friends and relatives. Make sure your event goes off without an unexpected bang by buying your fireworks from a reputable supplier and following the firework safety rules, or by attending a well-organised community event."

Although fireworks are fun for us, they are not fun for animals. Most animals get very scared by the lights and noise, so pet owners should take precautions to protect their pets when fireworks are likely to be set off.

The best thing is to keep your pets indoors if possible. This includes bringing in pets that are normally kept outside, such as rabbits or guinea pigs. Closing windows and doors and trying to drown out the noise of the fireworks as much as possible can be helpful.


Ambulance Service Encourages Safety on Bonfire Night

In the run up to Bonfire Night, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is reminding people to stay safe and keep themselves and others free from harm.
Every year the ambulance service is called to a number of patients who have firework and bonfire-related injuries, and this year will be no exception.

Dr David Macklin, Associate Medical Director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said:

"Around the Bonfire Night period, 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 harms 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.

"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 Direct on 0845 4647.)

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 log onto The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Safer Fireworks website: www.saferfireworks.com
or visit the NHS Choices website at: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/fireworksafety/Pages/Fireworksafety.aspx


Bark Busters Dog Safety Tips
Halloween is intended to scare and startle us but this can make it a spooky time for dogs, too.

By being more sensitive to dogs' fear-driven 'fight or flight' instincts, we can help keep our furry friends safe this Halloween.

Halloween brings a fun time for most of us, but for some of our much-loved pets Halloween can be a nightmare. 

Dog owners may not be able to control external surroundings, but they can care for their dog's safety and well being by observing the following tips:

Bring your dog indoors. Even if you have a fenced garden, bring your dog inside where he cannot be harmed or overwhelmed by little ghouls and goblins. If he is an outside-dog, bring him in a few times before the big night to get him comfortable with being indoors. Remember, some dogs may try to protect the family from strangers, and on Halloween there will be plenty of strangers knocking at your door.
Keep your dog restrained. If your dog is timid or scared, or if he tends to love people a little too much, put him in a separate room away from the front door. This will limit his excitement, aggression or chance of running outside and getting lost or injured.
Reassure your dog but don't over do it. If your dog seems to feel unsettled by Halloween activities, just act as normally as possible. By over-reassuring your dog or giving him extra attention, you inadvertently can communicate to him that there must be something to worry about.  
Have your dog get used to costumes. Your dog may regard his family members as strangers once they don their Halloween costumes. Before the kids put them on, allow your dog to scent the costumes. Keep masks off at all times while your dog is around.

Check your dog's ID Tag. Be sure identification tags are secure on your dog's collar-just in case.

Keep chocolate and sweets away from your dog. Many sweets - especially those containing chocolate or xylitol, an artificial sweetener - are toxic to dogs. Problems can range from a mild upset tummy to vomiting and diarrhoea, or even death in extreme cases. For your dog's safety, be sure to keep all sweets and their wrappers well away from him.   

Protect your dog from candles and pumpkins. Agitated or excited dogs (and their swinging tails) can easily knock over a lit candle or pumpkin. Keep such items out of your dog's reach, or consider using a battery-powered candle that does not burn.   

Think twice about dressing your dog in a costume. While some dogs may enjoy being dressed up, many don't. Experiment first to see if your dog likes being in a costume. If he shows any resistance, don't do it.

Consider carefully and be prepared. Think carefully about taking your dog with you on trick-or-treating rounds. You may unintentionally instil a new fear of strangers in him, creating a wariness that could last for a long time. If you do take your dog, keep a firm grip on his lead. Dogs do not understand that the person jumping out at you will not hurt you; they often think they can only help you by acting aggressively.

Neither children nor adults in costumes should approach a dog without the owner's consent.

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