Fire service urges people to ‘be safe, not sorry’ this fireworks season


Release date: 1 November 2022

With Bonfire Night just around the corner, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging residents to follow the firework code this autumn.

The Children’s Burns Trust has predicted that around 500 people will be injured due to firework-related incidents this year with most injuries affecting the eyes, head or hands.

The fire service is asking people to be extra vigilant and not to take unnecessary risks if planning or attending a firework display.

Nicki Peddle, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Head of Prevention, said: “With cost-of-living pressures leading to the cancellation of some public firework displays, there is a risk that people may choose to celebrate in their own gardens.

“Though Bonfire Night can be fun for all the family, there are a huge number of hazards associated with the use of fireworks and in the wrong hands they can cause serious injury or damage to property.

“We would encourage residents to think twice before holding their own firework events, and if they do choose to go ahead with an event, please follow the firework code to keep yourself, your loved ones and the emergency services safe.”

The firework code:

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm (with the exception of Bonfire Night and Diwali when this is extended to midnight).
  • Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time.
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.
  • Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
  • Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
  • Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

If you do suffer a burn, ensure you:

  • Cool the burn under cold running water for at least 20 minutes.
  • After the burn has been cooled, cover it with cling film or a clean plastic bag.
  • Call 999 if necessary. Always seek medical advice for a baby or child that has been burned.
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