Posted: Tue 20th Oct 2020

Emergency services appeal for people to keep safe this fireworks season

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 20th, 2020

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North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust and North Wales Police are appealing for people to keep safe during fireworks season.

They say they are fearing for a busy evening come Bonfire Night as people may be tempted to set fireworks off in their own gardens.

This comes as events have been cancelled due to COVID-19 and the ‘fire-break’ lockdown set to start from this Friday.

Justin Evans, Head of Prevention and Protection for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The number of incidents involving fireworks and bonfires we attend has reduced dramatically as the public have listened to our plea to attend organised displays rather than setting off their own fireworks at home.

“We are concerned that the cancellation of organised fireworks displays could lead to an increase in home displays and possible injuries and we are urging people to think twice about using fireworks at home.

“If you do decide to let off fireworks or have a bonfire, we would appeal to everyone to show respect by following our advice.”

They advise a number of things, such as:

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, ensuring 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
  • Do not 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 the fire is out and surroundings are safe before leaving.

The Welsh Ambulance Services are also asking they be respected due to the pandemic putting additional pressures on them, so do not take risks, they say.

Jonathan Sweet, Welsh Ambulance Service’s Area Operations Manager, said: “On what is a high-pressure night for all emergency services across the region, we are urging the public to help safeguard themselves, their families, neighbours and friends by staying safe and not taking risks.

“We must keep the ambulance service as free as possible to deal with the most acute and life threatening calls, especially in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Burns injuries, especially, can be avoided by following the Firework code.

“If you do suffer a burn, ensure you:

  1. Get the person away from the heat source
  2. Cool the burn with lukewarm or cool water for 20 minutes
  3. Remove any clothing or jewellery that’s near the burnt area
  4. Make sure the person keeps warm
  5. Cover the burn using a layer of cling film or a clean plastic bag
  6. Use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
  7. Seek medical advice by calling 111, GP out of hours or visiting A&E if required”

Lastly, they warn of fireworks intimidating the elderly and children.

They say to tell neighbours when planning to let of fireworks and avoid purchasing noisy ones, being considerate when having a firework party and making sure it is over by 11pm – the cut-off for Bonfire Night being midnight.

Superintendent Helen Corcoran, Head of Community Safety at North Wales Police, said: “We want to remind people that you must be over 18 to purchase fireworks and that it is illegal to set off or throw fireworks, including sparklers, in the street or other public places.

“You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

“This year whilst our policing focus remains firmly on tackling antisocial behaviour and keeping people safe, our message is a little bit different given the unusual circumstances we are in due to the coronavirus.

“Fortunately, the majority of communities we police don’t experience a great increase in crime at this time of year, but there can always be one or two people who spoil it for everyone else.

“We don’t want anyone’s enjoyment to get out of hand and cause distress or harm to others.

“Please remember to respect, protect and enjoy.”

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