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Bonfire Night – Don’t lose sight of the dangers

Posted: Nov 04 2016

It’s nearly Bonfire Night – many of us will be heading out to fireworks displays or planning our own. While the Fifth of November is terrific fun and we’re all looking forward to a sky ablaze with fireworks, it is important to keep safety in mind.

With so many happy images of people in woolly hats, writing their names with sparklers and glugging down steaming cups of hot chocolate or sipping on mulled wine, it’s easy to forget that fireworks are actually dangerous.

Every year, roughly ten people lose their eyesight altogether and a further three-hundred suffer serious eye injuries as a result of accidents caused by fireworks. Rockets are at the heart of most accidents, with the second biggest culprit being sparklers.

The best way to avoid eye injuries is to go to a professionally organised display, statistically the safest way of enjoying fireworks, with only about 10% of firework accidents happening at these events. The fireworks will probably be more impressive than those at a private party, and you can concentrate on making memories with your children instead of terrifying them with your safety goggles!

If you’re determined to hold your own bonfire night celebration, remember to follow the Eyecare Trust’s SPARKLER code and stay safe:

  • Shield your eyes with protective eyewear when lighting fireworks
  • Plunge sparklers into a bucket of cold water as soon as they have burnt out
  • Attend properly organised displays wherever possible (please do this! Your friends will understand, honest).
  • Read the instructions on the fireworks with a torch and follow them carefully
  • Keep all fireworks in a closed metal box and only light one at a time
  • Leave fireworks that fail to go off – never return to a lit firework
  • Ensure everyone stands a safe distance away when the fireworks are going off
  • Remove all debris and flammable objects from your firework display area

If there are any injuries at the display or event you’re attending, call 999 immediately. Putting drops or ointment in the eye can do more harm than good so leave treatment to the paramedics.

Bonfire night can be loads of fun – but not if you’re in A&E. Please do take care and stay safe.


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