Take extra care on Bonfire Night

01 November 2019

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is reminding everyone to stay safe during Bonfire Night celebrations taking place over the next few days.

Every year the ambulance service is called to patients who are injured by fireworks or bonfire-related incidents.

Dr Julian Mark, Executive Medical Director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said:
“During the next few days, and especially over the weekend, our staff will be responding to patients with injuries ranging from minor burns to more serious, life-threatening conditions.

“When used properly fireworks are generally safe and accidents are avoidable, but if safety precautions are not followed they can cause terrible injuries.

“We want everyone to have fun, but always recommend that people go along to professionally organised public fireworks displays.  If you are planning to host your own event, please ensure that safety is your main priority so that everyone is aware of dangers and takes the necessary precautions.”

In the event of an accident with fireworks or bonfires you need to act quickly:

  • If the patient or their clothing is alight, extinguish any flames by rolling them on the ground.
  • Use cold water (ideally cold running water for 20 minutes) to cool the burned area and reduce pain.
  • Do not remove burned clothing which has stuck to the skin.
  • Do not use skin creams or oils.
  • Seek urgent medical help if injuries are serious by calling 999.
  • For minor injuries, call NHS 111 or visit a minor injuries unit.

If you’re planning a firework party at home this year, please take note of the advice from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to make the event safe and enjoyable for everyone:

  1. Plan your firework display so ideally it finishes before 11pm (the legal cut-off time on Bonfire Night (5 November) is midnight).
  2. Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time.
  3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.
  4. Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back.
  5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
  6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
  7. Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
  8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
  9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
  10. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.


Produced by: Corporate Communications Department