Ambulance Service Encourages Safety on Bonfire Night

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) is urging members of the public to take extra care during the Bonfire Night festivities.

Every year, we are called to many patients who have suffered firework or bonfire-related injuries and we want to help people to stay safe during one of our busiest times of the year.

Stephen Segasby, Deputy Director of Operations for YAS, said: “We want everyone to have fun on Bonfire Night but it’s important that people remember the dangers that bonfires and fireworks can bring.

“Failing to follow safety advice could have serious consequences for you and those around you, so we’d encourage everyone to attend a professionally-organised firework event; this is a safer environment than setting off fireworks in a back garden. We know that some people will still choose to celebrate at home and if they do they must remember the dangers and take all the necessary precautions.”

For advice on how to treat minor burns follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin, including babies’ nappies. But do not try to remove anything that’s stuck to the burnt skin, as this could cause more damage.
  2. Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes as soon as possible after the injury. Do not use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances like butter.
  3. Cover the burn with cling film. Put the cling film in a layer over the burn, rather than wrapping it around a limb. A clean clear plastic bag can be used for burns on your hand.
  4. Treat the pain from a burn with paracetamol or ibuprofen.

For more serious burns, get further medical assistance from your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, dial 999.

Follow these top 10 tips from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for a safer fireworks party:

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm
  • 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.
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