Don’t let fireworks ruin your life, warns West Midlands Ambulance Service

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ALTHOUGH the number of injuries from firework, sparklers and bonfires has fallen across the West Midlands in recent years, there are still lots of people in the region who have the scars to prove just how dangerous they can be.

Already this year, West Midlands Ambulance Service has had to treat a number of patients for injuries to their hands.

In previous years, there have been patients who have suffered injuries to their fingers, arms, faces and eyes after accidents.

Some of the effects are so serious that some patients continue to receive treatment a year on.

So although the West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust say they would like everyone to enjoy the Guy Fawkes celebrations this year, please make sure you do so safely and don’t suffer a life-changing injury.

FACTS

*A sparkler reaches a temperature of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius - that’s 20 times the boiling point of water. Three sparklers burning together generate the same heat as a blow-torch

*A rocket can reach 150 miles an hour

*A firework shell can go as high as 200 metres

*The highest number of firework-related injuries happen at family or private parties

*The most common injuries are to hands followed by eyes and faces

WMAS Medical Director, Dr Andy Carson, said: “Despite decreases in injuries, no-one should be complacent about the potential levels of injury.

“Around half of all injuries are to children under the age of 17. The damage that can be caused can have a lifelong impact on an individual’s health and can particularly have severe consequences for children.

“Throughout this weekend’s celebrations remember to keep a watchful eye on your children and to keep them out of harms way and if you are handling or lighting fireworks yourself remember to follow all of the safety rules.”

This weekend, please remember:

Do

*Only buy fireworks from a legitimate retailer

*Check the fireworks you buy are suitable for the size of garden and conform to the British Standard 7114

*Allow only one person to be responsible

*Have a bucket of water ready

*Have eye protection and gloves if lighting fireworks

*Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper

*Stand well back and keep others back too

*Always supervise children

*Store fireworks in a metal box, kept closed between use

Don’t

*Drink alcohol if setting off fireworks

*Go back to a firework after it has been lit, even if it hasn’t gone off

*Let children touch or pick up a discarded sparkler once it has gone out as it may still be very hot

*In many respects, it is far better to attend an organised firework display.

For more information on firework safety and health information, visit NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/livewell/fireworksafety/Pages/Fireworksafety.aspx