As Bonfire Night approaches, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) is urging everyone to keep safe whilst having fun at bonfire displays.
Although NWAS hopes everyone enjoys the special events, it is important to remember the dangers that both fires and fireworks can bring. Keep a safe distance away from fires, and when setting off fireworks always follow the instructions and adhere to the Firework Code.
On Bonfire Night last year NWAS saw a 5.7 per cent increase in 999 calls compared to the night before. They also saw an increase in calls reporting burns, scolds and explosion incidents on Bonfire Night compared to the week before.
In the event of an accident with fireworks or fires you should:
- Extinguish any flames if the casualty is alight
- If alight, drop to the floor and roll to extinguish flames – remember to keep the mouth and eyes closed
- If you see someone else on fire, tell them to ‘Stop, drop and roll’
- Use cold water (ideally running water) to cool the burnt area and reduce the pain
- Do not remove any burnt clothing which has stuck to the skin
- Do not use any creams or oils on burn injuries
- Seek urgent medical help by calling 999 for life threatening or serious injuries. For minor injuries contact NHS 111
NWAS’ Consultant Paramedic, Dan Smith, said: “In the past few years we’ve attended patients with minor burns right through to those who have life-threatening injuries as a result of firework displays.
“Even sparklers can cause serious burns as they can reach temperatures up to 1000 degrees centigrade so please always wear gloves and hold at a safe distance away from you and others around you.
“Make sure you watch over children and, if possible, we would always recommend you go to a professionally-organised public display to avoid the risk of harm.”
For more information on firework safety, visit The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Safer Fireworks website: www.saferfireworks.com or visit the NHS Choices website at: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/fireworksafety/Pages/Fireworksafety.aspx.