Fears lack of Bonfire Night events could increase firework injuries at home
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
The cancellation of organised firework displays due to coronavirus has prompted fears there could be an increase in injuries from people putting on their own shows in gardens.
Firefighters and trading standards watchdogs at Norfolk County Council have urged people to take extra care this Bonfire Night and not try to replace professional displays with unsafe options at home.
They said if people do decide to host their own displays they should only be bought from authorised sellers so they comply with safety standards.
They said people who do hold displays in their gardens would need to stick to government guidance around the rule of six.
And they reminded people how the use of fireworks can be a nuisance to neighbours and cause distress for vulnerable people and for pets.
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Margaret Dewsbury, the council’s cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said: “We are currently amid a global pandemic and we are asking people not to take risks which could put additional pressures on our emergency services in Norfolk.
“While most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause real misery.
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“Remember that fireworks are explosives, and as such should be treated with respect and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Firework Code.”
The cut off point for setting off fireworks on Bonfire Night is midnight, but at other times they must not be set off between 11pm and 7am. The exceptions are New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when 1am is the cut-off point.
A Norfolk police spokesman said: “We want to remind people that you must be over 18 to purchase fireworks and that it is illegal to set off or throw fireworks, including sparklers, in the street or other public places.
“You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.”
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has said it is concerned that more people will buy and use fireworks themselves this year, warning that could lead to an increase in life-changing injuries.