Ian Hopkins, prevention delivery manager at Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said, “We are asking everyone to show respect this Bonfire Night, to their neighbours, to the emergency services, and to the real dangers that fireworks and bonfires can pose.”
Fireworks are explosives, and should be treated with respect and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Firework Code:
1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm.
2. Only buy fireworks that carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time.
3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework, using a torch if necessary.
4. Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.
5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
7. Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
10. Make sure that the fire is out, and surroundings are made safe, before leaving.
The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) spokesperson added, “If someone does suffer a burn, get it treated as soon as possible to limit the damage to their skin.”
1. Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes immediately after the injury is sustained, then cover the burn with clingfilm or a clean plastic bag.
2. Give the person paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce their pain.
3. Take them to a hospital accident and emergency (A&E) department for large burns, or burns that cause white charred or blistered skin.
4. Call NHS 111 for advice if you don’t know what to do, or call 999 for an ambulance if they are seriously injured or their life may be at risk.
T/Superintendent Heather Dixey from Dorset Police said, “Please respect the ‘rule of six’ on bonfire night this year. Meeting in a group of more than six people, indoors or outdoors including children of any age, is against the law.
“You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally, and there’s also an on-the-spot fine of £90.”
Fireworks can also cause a great deal of distress to animals. In a recent survey, 62 per cent of dog owners reported their pets showing signs of distress during fireworks season, with 54 per cent of cat owners experiencing the same.
If any additional rules are imposed by the government, after today, to help control the COVID-19 pandemic they should be adhered to.
Have a safe bonfire night.
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