Emergency services urge people not to make the same old bonfire night mistakes

AS bonfire night approaches this weekend people are being reminded to be careful and to not let fireworks ruin your life.

The West Midlands Ambulance Service and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service are both warning people to be careful with fireworks, to keep children away from them, and be vigilant to avoid any injuries.

West Midlands Ambulance service medical director Dr Andy Carson said: “Despite decreases in injuries, no-one should be complacent about the potential levels of injury.

“Around half of all injuries are to children under the age of 17. The damage that can be caused can have a lifelong impact on an individual’s health and can particularly have severe consequences for children.

“Throughout this weekend’s celebrations remember to keep a watchful eye on your children and to keep them out of harms way and if you are handling or lighting fireworks yourself remember to follow all of the safety rules.”

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Already this year, West Midlands Ambulance Service has had to treat a number of patients for injuries to their hands. In previous years, there have been patients who have suffered injuries to their fingers, arms, faces and eyes after accidents, and some of the effects are so serious that some patients continue to receive treatment a year on.

Warwickshire County Council are also warning people not to buy fireworks from unlicensed sellers, which often cause injuries and fires.

Head of localities and community safety Mark Ryder said: “Due to the current economic climate, residents will be looking for best value when buying fireworks, unfortunately there is an increase in unlicensed sellers, selling products which may be old or illegal who are willing to take advantage of that.

“Generally these items are sold from the back of vans, which park up near markets or in local communities, selling to unsuspecting buyers. A number of these sellers may not have been storing their fireworks safely which could result in the fireworks either not working properly or serious injuring someone.”

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Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Jim Onions, added: “We know that bonfire night can be an exciting time of year for children, young people and adults alike.

“Unfortunately year on year, we continue to see people make the same mistakes, which result in properties being set alight because bonfires have been built too close to the building or children and adults being hurt in firework related incidents.”