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What to do if you’re injured on Bonfire Night

Bonfire night is one of those nights where weather permitting, thousands of people across the UK wrap up warm, and stare at the night sky, enjoying a fireworks extravaganza either at an organised event or in their back gardens. It’s a time to gather together with your nearest and dearest, enjoy each others company and gorge on cinder toffee, toffee apples and a hot cup of something sweet.

However, bonfire night is also one of the nights of the year when the chances of suffering a personal injury increase. Whether you’re enjoying the warmth of a bonfire, the spectacle of a fireworks display or you’re heading to a local fair, there will be potential hazards at almost every turn.

In this article, we will highlight some of the potential dangers that you may face, and we’ll also reveal what steps you should take if you suffer a personal injury this bonfire night.

Fireworks

Fireworks are one of the main reasons that people across the UK enjoy bonfire night so much. Whilst they may dazzle and instil a sense of wonder, they are also extremely dangerous if they aren’t handled with care and consideration.

According to St John’s Ambulance firework-related injuries are on the rise and in 2015 they compiled a report that found that 4,506 people attended A&E with such injuries, an increase of 111 per cent on the 2,141 firework-related injuries reported in 2010.

While the way you can use fireworks and who can buy and sell them is regulated, this doesn’t make those who use them or are near them immune from injury.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the safest place to enjoy a fireworks display is at a large public display as figures suggest that the number of people injured at these types of events is much lower than the number of people injured at a DIY fireworks display held at home or at a private party.

Common personal injuries that occur annually as a result of fireworks include burns, blindness and hearing damage. To help you avoid these types of injuries there are a few steps that you can follow, otherwise known as the ‘Firework Code‘.

The ‘Code‘ highlights the following as measures that can help improve the safe use and enjoyment of fireworks:

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

  • 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

Following these steps may improve the level of safety at a fireworks display, but they by no means irradicate the threat and due diligence and care should be taken by all who are at the display.

Fire

The warmth and spectacle of an open fire is another big attraction of bonfire night, but a big fire out in the open offers a multitude of risks.

Burns are one of the most common types of accidents suffered by revellers enjoying Bonfire Night, and after fireworks, the large fires that people huddle around are the culprits.

As well as being overwhelmed by the heat by standing too close to the fire, people also receive burns as a result of the fire spitting hot debris at them.

Whether it be on Bonfire Night or you are gathered around a fire at any other point during the year, it’s essential you remain safe and take the proper precautions.

Ensure that only adults approach the fire, children should be kept at a safe distance at all times. If an adult must approach the fire, they should ensure that they wear protective clothing and protective goggles to protect their eyes from any stray bits of debris.

In a public event where a bonfire is present, a safe area surrounding the fire should be cordoned off and if a person in attendance is injured as a result of a fence or barrier not being present or if the barrier isn’t erected at a safe distance from the fire then the organiser of the event may be liable for a personal injury claim.

Sparklers

Finally, no Bonfire Night would be complete without sparklers. Whilst sparklers may be pleasing to the eye they are one of the biggest causes of injury on Bonfire Night and when three or more burn together, they burn hotter than a blowtorch that is used to weld metal.

Children are most at risk and should be supervised at all times. You should also ensure that anyone using sparklers isn’t wearing flammable items of clothing such as nylon or polyester as these can burn very quickly.

Gloves should also be worn to protect the hands from the sparks and heat of the sparklers.

Injured on Bonfire Night? Here’s how we can help

The Thorneycroft Solicitors Personal Injury team hope that you or your loved ones never experience an injury whilst you enjoy Bonfire Night, however accidents do still happen and if you suffer an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence then you may have the right to pursue a personal injury claim.

Our team will place your well-being at the forefront of the claim process ensuring you get the rehabilitative care you may need following your injury whilst simultaneously gathering the evidence that is needed to build the strongest possible case for your claim.

We work with some of the leading charities in the UK in order to secure the emotional and physical support that both our clients and their families may need following an accident.

If you have suffered a personal injury during Bonfire Night or at any other time in the year and would like to discuss your potential claim with a member of our team please call us for free on 0800 1979 345 or complete our contact form and we will aim to assist you with your claim as soon as possible.

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