Cancelled firework displays could lead to a spike in injuries, charity warns

AS FIREWORK displays across Hampshire are cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, a national charity is warning there could be a spike in injuries as people stage their own displays.

Friday, 30th October 2020, 7:00 am
Yobs setting off fireworks in Greetham Street, Southsea, near residential properties and the city's railway line on Wednesday, October 28. Picture: 3rd party

More than 550 children are taken to A&E departments across the country in the four weeks surrounding Bonfire Night every year – and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) fears this year could see even more life-changing injuries.

The warning comes as a group of young people directed fireworks at homes in several streets in Buckland on Wednesday evening – with police officers called to the scene and then withdrawing out of safety concerns.

Ashley Martin, Rospa public health adviser, said: ‘We see hundreds of firework-related injuries every year, and they literally change lives, with people receiving scarring that requires lifelong treatment.‘There’s a real possibility that number could rise this autumn.‘Please only buy from reputable retailers, check the box carries a CE mark, and make sure you’re only buying category 2 and category 3 fireworks.

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‘As even some of these will be too powerful for your back garden please check the distance requirements on the instructions.

‘When storing them at home, make sure to keep them out of the reach of children.’

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Rospa is urging anyone planning their own display to follow the Firework Code on its website, which stresses that fireworks should never be thrown and never approached after they have been lit.

The charity also warns people to be aware of the dangers of sparklers – which can reach temperatures of 20 times the boiling point of water.

This year has seen Gunwharf Quays shopping centre cancel its Bonfire Night event, including its firework display, over concerns for the safety of guests as a result of the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

It is the second year in a row that the shopping centre has not held its traditional fireworks display, with the event cancelled in 2019 due to firework stock being depleted by the commemorations of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

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