As the dark nights draw in, fireworks season is in full swing. Many will be looking forward to setting their sights on extravagant fireworks displays or organising their own home fireworks display. In the midst of all the excitement, the risk of a potentially serious injury rises.
This year bonfire night also falls at the same time as the Hindu Diwali and New Year celebrations. You will most likely hear continuous sounds of fireworks in motion throughout this time. Sales of fireworks will go through the roof during this time. Before the pandemic, the NHS reported a soaring demand for emergency services during this time.
There have been various calls from NHS Surgeons to say fireworks should carry graphic warnings due to the risk of serious, disfiguring and sometimes life-changing injuries to hands and faces from firework.
Various bodies believe mandatory graphic warning images and plain packaging for fireworks will help warn of potential injuries at the point of use and discourage misuse.
Regrettably, the risk of serious injuries remain. It is very easy to purchase fireworks which may not be as safe as they appear to be. Defective fireworks can fail to explode properly exposing nearby users or viewers to injury. Historically, some have also sadly been set on fire. Severe burns injuries, hand injuries, vision or hearing loss and psychological symptoms can end up plaguing an injured individual’s life for a long time.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents offers useful fireworks safety guidance which can be accessed by clicking on the following link.
You can also access very helpful information from The Children’s Burns Trust in relation to protecting children during this time and saving lives.
Usually cases can be brought against the manufacturer of the fireworks which did not explode correctly or were defective under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. It is important to purchase fireworks from UK based manufacturers or reputable retailers as it can be very difficult to bring a case against manufacturers outside the UK as there could be issues surrounding insurance cover as well as procedural difficulties. You must ensure fireworks are purchased from licensed sellers.
Should you or a loved one suffer injuries due to poorly manufactured fireworks or due to attending an unsafe public fireworks display, please do not hesitate to seek legal advice.