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Stay safe this bonfire, firework and Diwali season

24 October 2019

FireworksSouth East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) is urging people to stay safe and injury free by acting sensibly this bonfire, firework and Diwali (Sunday 27 October).

People are also advised to attend local professionally-organised events. Those wishing to celebrate with fireworks at home are urged to closely follow safety advice.

By observing simple rules people can keep themselves, their family and friends safe and avoid the need to seek medical assistance or call 999.

Fireworks and bonfire safety advice:

•  Attend professional-organised local event
•  Never use petrol or other chemicals on a bonfire
•  Keep fireworks in a closed box away from children and use them one at a time
•  Read any instructions carefully using a torch if necessary
•  Never smoke around fireworks
•  Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper and stand at a safe distance
•  Never return to a firework once it has been lit
•  Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
•  Follow safety instructions if using sparklers
•  Drinking alcohol and lighting fireworks do not mix
•  Consider whether younger children would prefer to watch fireworks from inside

SECAmb Contingency Planning and Resilience Manager Dave Nelson said: “We know that sadly, each year, we will be called to treat people who have been injured by fireworks or bonfires. Our simple advice is to ask that people use their common sense and stay safe. By following safety advice people will significantly reduce their chances of being injured.

“Throughout the firework season we want people to enjoy themselves. The best way to do this safely is for people to attend professionally-organised events local to them. This is a safer environment than setting off fireworks in a back garden. We know that some people will still choose to celebrate at home, and if they do, it’s so important that they remember the dangers and take all the necessary precautions.”

More information on firework safety can be found at The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Safer Fireworks website -

Earlier this month was National Burn Awareness Day (Wednesday 16 October). While most burns are usually minor, giving the right first aid quickly following a burn or a scald can significantly improve a person’s recovery time and limit the severity of any scarring.

People can make a real difference to someone’s recovery from a burn by remembering to “Cool, Call and Cover”:

• Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly struck to the wound)
• Call for help – you can call the NHS 111 service for initial advice on treating burns or call your local GP. In an emergency, call 999
• Cover the burn with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth.  Make sure the patient is kept warm

An online video, produced by Queen Victoria Hospital can be viewed on Youtube via the following link -

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