Get that rocket out of your pocket and prevent injuries on Bonfire Night

28/10/2014

Get that rocket out of your pocket and avoid spoiling the party with an accident on Bonfire Night by following the fireworks code, warns the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).  

Fireworks are explosives and can cause life-threatening injuries, so as the firework season gets underway, the safety charity is reminding people to make sure that it is just the fireworks that go off with a bang and prevent injuries.  

Every year, RoSPA hears about people - including children and young people - being injured by fireworks - about half of these injuries happen at family or private parties and about a quarter in the street or other public place.  

Data collected across Britain in previous years shows that, on average, around 1,000 people visit A&E for treatment of a firework-related injury in the four weeks around Bonfire Night, with half of the injuries being suffered by under-18s.  

It is important that families have the necessary safety preparations in place if they are thinking of staging a fireworks party at home.  

To avoid injuries on Bonfire Night, RoSPA is reminding families to follow these simple steps:

  • Plan your fireworks 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.

Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “Bonfire Night is a time for celebration so to avoid accidents, families should ensure that fireworks are treated with respect and are handled only by adults. Fireworks are not toys and should only be used in accordance with the firework code. Each year, over half of all fireworks injuries are suffered by children.  

“The safest place to enjoy fireworks is at properly-organised displays. If you are organising a fireworks party we urge people to make sure they plan ahead so that their event is safe and enjoyable for their guests.”  

For more information about firework safety, including plenty of safety tips for holding a firework display at home, visit www.saferfireworks.com  

For photographs and other requests email: [email protected] or call 0121 248 2135.

Note to broadcasters: RoSPA has its own ISDN studio.


Contact Us

Press Office
+44 (0)121 248 2135
[email protected]