Stay safe during bonfire and firework season

Fireworks by Sarah Standing

Fireworks by Sarah Standing

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South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is urging people to be sensible and stay safe and injury free this bonfire and firework season.

SECAmb is asking people follow some simple safety tips and advice and that they use common sense to keep themselves, their family and friends safe.

The Trust is also advising people to attend local professionally-organised events.

Anyone celebrating with fireworks at home is urged to follow the safety advice below.

Top safety advice includes:

• Never use petrol or other chemicals on a bonfire.

• Keep fireworks in a closed box away from children and use them one at a time.

• Read any instructions carefully using a torch if necessary.

• Never smoke around fireworks.

• Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper and stand at a safe distance.

• Never return to a firework once it has been lit.

• Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never thrown them.

• Follow safety instructions if using sparklers.

• Drinking alcohol and lighting fireworks don’t mix.

• Consider whether younger children would prefer to watch fireworks from inside.

SECAmb head of resilience and specialist operations, Andy Cashman said: “Sadly every year we deal with people being injured by fireworks or bonfires. We’re urging everyone to keep themselves and others safe by following our simple advice.

“We’re encouraging people to attend organised events. We want people to have a good time and enjoy themselves but we also want them to be safe and sensible. If people are celebrating at home they need to remember the dangers and take all the necessary precautions.”

SECAmb supported National Burns Awareness Day earlier this month.

While most burns are usually minor, giving the right first aid quickly following a burn or a scald can significantly improve a person’s recovery time and limit the severity of any scarring.

People can make a real difference to someone’s recovery from a burn by remembering to “Cool, Call and Cover”:

• Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly struck to the wound).

• Call for help – you can call the NHS 111 service for initial advice on treating burns or call your local GP. In an emergency, call 999.

• Cover the burn with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm.