Dark mornings. Wet and windy days. Christmas wrapping paper on sale in the shops. Yes, Autumn has well and truly arrived here in the UK. Which means, of course, that Bonfire Night is on its way.
For many of us, the 5th of November is a fun event: sparklers, woolly hats, black-eyed peas – and lots and lots of fireworks! £316 million worth, in fact. That’s how much we Brits spent on them last year. Which isn’t surprising when you know that 74% of us attended a public bonfire event, while many others enjoyed a private party involving fireworks.
For some, however, Bonfire Night isn’t quite so much fun. For those who work in the emergency services, or an A&E department, the event itself, as well as the days and weeks leading up to it, usually means a significant spike in workload. And the reason hardly needs to be said: fireworks are dangerous.
The cracker conundrum
To say that fireworks are dangerous is, of course, to state the obvious. What isn’t quite so obvious, though, is the fact that ‘smaller doesn’t necessarily mean safer’. It’s easy (and quite natural) to fall into the trap of thinking that the real danger lies with the biggies, but it’s simply not true: it’s the smaller fireworks – the bottle rockets and firecrackers – that actually account for the majority of all firework-related injuries.
Take sparklers, for instance. They’re pretty much a must-have at any bonfire; a bit of harmless fun that many people – especially children – love to play with. But when you realise that a sparkler can reach temperatures of 1000-1600oC (that’s 15 times hotter than boiling water, hot enough to melt gold!), they suddenly seem less harmless. A single slip can result in serious injury – a fact, which is reflected in the statistic, that (according to National Fire Protection Association) around 30% of firework injuries are to the hands or fingers. As children’s hands are relatively small, these injuries can often mean the loss of fingers – or even worse.
That’s not to say the bigger fireworks are less of a risk, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Large rockets, for example, can reach speeds of up to 150mph, making them, when lit, potentially deadly.
Minimise the bonfire night risks
Like everything in life, fireworks involve risk. But you can minimise that risk by obeying a few very basic rules. The first of these is that you should always try to attend a professionally organised event rather than buying your own fireworks. However, if you do prefer to organise your own fireworks party, remember to:
- Wear gloves when holding sparklers
- Never allow children to play with or ignite the fireworks
- Always supervise children throughout the display, especially when they have sparklers
- Keep fireworks in the box, do not carry them in your pockets
- Light fireworks using a lighting wand, and don’t put any part of your body over the firework
- Don’t return to a firework that did not ignite – and never try to relight or pick it up
- Dispose of used sparklers in a bucket of sand or water
- Have a hosepipe or water available to put out any mishaps or to douse used fireworks
Accidents can and will happen – prepare for them with Burnshield
By following the firework safety tips above, you’ll be able to minimise the risk of mishaps. But accidents happen. And as – by definition – no accident is planned, it’s best to plan for the unexpected.
Having a well-stocked first aid kit on-site, which includes emergency burn care products, is highly recommended. Why? Because a burn can take a second to occur and a lifetime to heal if not treated immediately and properly. Burnshield Hydrogel significantly reduces the damage associated with all types of burns. It cools and soothes while minimising:
- Skin damage
- Burn depth
- Pain and shock
- Bacterial growth
The gel structure quickly absorbs and dissipates heat within any affected tissue, minimising burn damage. The product’s high water content effectively transfers heat through evaporation, thereby providing effective cooling while minimising pain and shock.
Burnshield includes a wide range of products, such as sprays, dressings, blankets and kits, for different burns and sections of the body. In fact, we’ve recently launched the new Burnshield Emergency Rescue Kit in a premium box – this has been specifically developed to provide maximum efficiency where burns present a major risk.
Burnshield products are available for a full range of environments – from domestic use to the Emergency Services. Why not have a browse and see what works for you?
Finally, we hope you have a great time on Bonfire Night – but, above all, please be careful. And be prepared.