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With public displays cancelled, remember to be safe this Bonfire Night, Says RoSPA

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is concerned that hospitals may see a rise in firework-related injuries after it was announced that many displays have been cancelled across the UK. 

  • 117 hospital admissions due to firework injuries in 2021 
  • With many displays cancelled across the country, accidents at home may rise 
  • Follow the firework code to be safe 

Due to rising costs, many cities across Britain have decided to cancel plans for an organised fireworks display. As such, RoSPA has voiced worries that this could result in more hospital admissions. 2021 saw firework-related injuries teeter over into triple figures, totalling 117 individual cases.

15 councils so far have cancelled firework events so far in the build-up to Bonfire Night, which may lead to more home-based gatherings. Whilst RoSPA believes individuals and groups should enjoy fireworks in their gardens or private spaces, safety should be of chief importance to ensure your evening goes off with a bang. 

In Tyne-and-Wear, Newcastle City Council recently seized 136 illegally purchased fireworks, leading the authority to team up with Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Northumbria police in a bid to limit further incidents.

Ashley Martin, Public Health Advisor for RoSPA, said: "In previous years, figures relating to firework injuries tend to indicate that fewer people are harmed at small gatherings than large public displays. And so, with the recent announcements that many events are being cancelled, we are anxious that there could be a rise in hospital admissions.  

"We understand that the Cost of Living Crisis is weighing on a lot of people's minds, and that the cancellation of organised fireworks displays due to cutbacks, but we encourage those considering throwing an event to educate themselves by following our Firework Code. For instance, with the emergence of illegal sales, one of our codes states that one should only purchase fireworks that carry UKCA marks. 

"Overall, we wish those taking part in any celebrations to enjoy themselves to the fullest, but apply our safety rules when embarking on any firework-related activities. " 

The Firework Code is: 

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and check the time you can legally set off fireworks 
  2. In England, Scotland and Wales only buy fireworks which carry the UKCA marks. In the case of Northern Ireland look for the UKNI symbol. You may also see the UKNI mark along with the UKCA symbol. Keep your fireworks 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. 


The data concerns hospital admissions with a cause code of ‘discharge of firework’ for 2020/21, whereby the injured individual required an overnight stay, not just an A&E visit. Data sheet can can be found here:  https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/hospital-admitted-patient-care-activity/2020-21 

Original article link: https://www.rospa.com/media-centre/press-office/press-releases/detail?ItemID=1004

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