South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) has joined an appeal from Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service (HFRS), the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (IWFRS) and Hampshire Constabulary to help keep people safe this bonfire and fireworks season.
With many organised events cancelled, emergency services are preparing for a busier night than usual and they are urging families to think twice about the risks before holding home displays.
The social distancing measures in place this year mean more people may be tempted to handle fireworks for the first time and there is concern that this could lead to a high increase in the number of severe burns or injuries. Between 2014-19 there were more than 1,000 severe burn injuries involving fireworks in England and Wales (National Fire Chief’s Council).
To help avoid an additional strain on the emergency services during this challenging time, members of the community are also being asked to show respect this Bonfire Night – respect fireworks, respect emergency services and respect neighbours.
Group Manager for Community Safety at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, John Amos said:
“Bonfire Night celebrations will be different this year, so we are asking the community for their support to help everyone enjoy the festivities safely.
Remember, fireworks are explosives, so please avoid taking unnecessary risks and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the Firework Code.
Please help us to protect the community by showing respect this Bonfire Night.”
Superintendent Clare Jenkins from Hampshire Constabulary said:
“Please support us in ensuring that the communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are safe this Bonfire Night. It has been a difficult year for everyone so please help your emergency services by showing respect for your neighbours and those around you by following the latest government guidance in respect of social distancing and gatherings. Thank you for your support.“
Paul Jefferies, Assistant Director of Operations from SCAS said:
“As always we ask that you help us by ensuring that you don’t need our services this Bonfire Night. Particularly in this current environment our services are busy and we would ask you and your families to stay safe and please don’t take risks’.
Further firework and bonfire safety advice is available on the HFRS website:
There are also worksheets and firework fun activities for children available on the HFRS Kidzone home learning site:
The Firework Code:
- Ensure firework displays finish before 11pm.
- Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them 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.