Firework Advice and First Aid tips should something go wrong

Firework Advice and First Aid tips should something go wrong

Each year more than 1,000 people suffer injuries due to fireworks during the four-week period around bonfire night. 60% of these occur at home or at private parties and 40% involve children. *

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is by going to an organised public display. You should only set fireworks off at home if you have enough room in your garden to burn them and for people to stand a safe distance away. When purchasing fireworks, you should always check that they are suitable for your garden and that they conform to British Standards (BS 7114; 1998).

Firework safety FirstAidforLife 

If you are going to host a firework display, however small, you should ensure there is an appropriately-stocked first aid kit close by. It is also advisable to have a bucket of sand, plenty of water, a fire blanket and a bottle of sterile saline accessible.

However you intend to enjoy the fireworks this year, ensure you never let a child handle or light a firework and you follow the fireworks code.



People often see sparklers as harmless and unthreatening when in fact they can reach temperatures six times as hot as a pan of cooking oil or as hot as a welder’s torch. They are therefore not suitable for children under the age of five.

Sparklers should only ever be lit one at a time and you should wear gloves while burning them.

Children burning sparklers should always be supervised and they should stand still, away from other people.

Do not wear loose clothing or scarves while burning sparklers as they can catch alight.



However careful you are, injuries can happen and here is how to treat some of the more common ones:


Minor burns

Minor burns are a common injury on Bonfire night. They can happen easily, for instance when someone picks up a used sparkler that hasn’t cooled down yet. Minor burns are red and painful and sometimes results in a blister.

  • Hold the affected area under cold, running water for at least 10 minutes
  • If someone is burnt and the area is blistered, or the area is larger than the size of the casualty’s palm, you should phone for an ambulance.
  • Special care should be taken if the burn is on a young child or an elderly person. All deep burns of any size will require urgent hospital treatment.
  • Once the burn has been cooled for at least 10 minutes, cover it with cling film, a burns dressing, or a burnt hand can be inserted into a sterile plastic bag. All burns should then be assessed by a medical professional.


If clothing is on fire

Remember these four key things: stop, drop, wrap and roll.

  • Stop the casualty panicking or running – any movement or breeze will fan the flames
  • Drop the casualty to the ground and wrap them in a blanket, coat, or rug. Ensure they are made from inflammable fabrics such as wool
  • Roll the casualty along the ground until the flames have been smothered.


Severe burns

If clothing has caught on fire, any burns are likely to be severe. A severe burn is deep and doesn’t hurt as much as a minor one due to damaged nerve endings, however, these burns are very serious and the casualty is prone to infection, hypothermia and shock.

  • Instruct a helper to dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance
  • Start cooling the burn immediately under cool running water. Continue for at least 10 minutes. Use a shower or hose if the burns are large. Keep cooling the burn while waiting for professional help to arrive. Ensure you are cooling the burn and not the casualty, keep areas that are not burnt as warm and dry as possible to try and avoid the casualty getting too cold and going into shock.
  • Make the casualty as comfortable as possible to reduce the risk of clinical shock, if appropriate lie them down and elevate their legs.
  • Remove any constricting items such as jewellery or clothing from the affected area unless they are stuck to the burn. Wear sterile disposable gloves if they are available.

With ALL burns: NEVER

  • Touch the burn
  • Use lotions, ointments and creams
  • Use adhesive dressings
  • Puncture blisters


Eye injuries

Sparks from fireworks and bonfires can land in the eye and be very painful. If someone has an eye injury, first open their eye and carefully look for any embedded objects. If there is anything lodged in the eye, cover both eyes and phone for an ambulance. If you can see an object in the eye and it is moving freely, use a sterile eye wash to gently irrigate the eye to remove it. If the casualty is still in pain or discomfort, seek medical advice.



It is strongly advised that parents attend a practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

Emma Hammett

First Aid for Life and

0208 675 4036

First Aid for Life is an Award Winning, fully regulated First Aid Training business, our trainers are highly experienced medical, health and emergency services professionals who will tailor the training to your needs. is the leading provider of interactive regulated and non-regulated first aid e-learning.

First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

*based on 1994 statistics








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