Stay safe this Bonfire night

Bonfires will be burning effigies of Gay Fawkes across the nation
Bonfires will be burning effigies of Gay Fawkes across the nation

In the run up to Bonfire Night, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) is reminding people to stay safe and keep themselves and others free from harm at private and community bonfire displays.

NWAS is encouraging everyone to have fun and enjoy the displays they attend, but are urging people to be aware of the dangers and be mindful of safety to help prevent common injuries such as burns to hands or the face from sparklers, fireworks and bonfires.

Last year saw a 5% increase in 999 calls, as over 1,500 additional emergency calls were made leading up to and around Bonfire Night, compared to the same time period the previous year in 2013.

The range of incidents which the ambulance service attended last year included a firework bouncing off a garden wall and hitting a group of children resulting in burn injuries in Cumbria; a man being treated for significant facial burns after a firework he was holding exploded in his face in Merseyside and a Lancashire man losing a finger when it was blown off as he was holding a firework.

David Blowers, Community Specialist Paramedic at NWAS, said: “Each Bonfire Night, myself and my colleagues treat a number of patients, children and adults, who have called the ambulance service suffering from minor burns through to extremely serious and life-changing injuries.

“We should all be mindful of how dangerous fireworks, bonfires and even sparklers can be. Sparklers can burn up to 1000 degrees centigrade and fireworks can reach speeds of 150 mph, which will cause serious damage to anything it hits.”

For more information on firework safety, visit 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