Fireworks cause hundreds of injuries every year
In 1994-98 three people died and over 6,000 people required hospital treatment as
a result of fireworks injuries. There were 831 injuries in 1998 alone, most occurring
at private parties; 226 injuries resulted from incidents in the street and other
public places; while 132 injuries occurred at large public fireworks displays.
A simple sparkler reaches a temperature of up to 2,000�C - over 15 times the boiling
point of water. A rocket can travel up to 2.4km (150 miles) _per hour. All kinds
of fireworks need handling with extreme care.
Firework safety and publicity are the responsibility of the Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI), who work in partnership with the Home Office at strategic level.
On the ground, the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Police, Trading Standards
Authority and Environmental Health Officers work together to enforce regulations
and get safety advice over to the public.
Firework safety is normally an issue at specific times of the
year - when fireworks are widely available, for example Chinese New Year, Diwali
and Bonfire Night. The scheduling of prevention initiatives is therefore likely
to coincide with these.
The Firework Code
- Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin
- Use them one at a time, replacing the lid immediately
- NEVER put fireworks in your pocket
- Read the instructions carefully, using a torch or hand lamp
- NEVER use a naked flame
- Light fireworks at arms length using a taper or a firework lighter
- Stand well back and NEVER return to a firework after it has been lit, it
could explode in your face
- Ensure that all children with fireworks are well supervised
- NEVER throw fireworks
- Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
- Keep all pets and animals indoors
- Take care with sparklers, wear gloves to hold them and dispose of
sparklers in a bucket of water as soon as they are finished.
- It is an offence (punishable by fine) to let fireworks off in a public
- It is also an offence (also punishable by fine) for anyone under the age
of 18 to be in possession of a firework (other than a sparkler) in a public
- A public place is anywhere other than your back garden, and includes
streets, parks and playgrounds - in fact any place members of the public have
access to at the time, whether or not an admission fee is payable.
- It is illegal to let fireworks off during night hours (11pm to 7am),
except on Bonfire Night (until midnight), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year
- It is illegal for shopkeepers to break open retail packets of fireworks
and sell them individually. This is because the instructions are printed on the
packet and not on the individual fireworks.
- Pets get very frightened on fireworks night, so keep all your pets indoors
and close all the curtains to make things calmer. Remember it's not just your
own fireworks that cause distress, so you may have to have your pets indoors on
several nights when other displays are taking place.
- Before lighting your bonfire, check that there are no animals (or