Make your big night go with a bang - safely!

The NEAS guide to avoiding injuries due to bonfires and fireworks

Every year the North East Ambulance Service is called to incidents where people have suffered firework and bonfire related injuries.

Here's a few tips on how you and your family can stay safe this bonfire season.

Paul Liversidge, Chief Operating Officer at NEAS, said: "Around the Bonfire Night period, our ambulance crews will treat a number of patients, children and adults for anything from minor burns to  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. 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 call 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 log onto The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Safer Fireworks website: or visit the NHS Choices website at:

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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