As Bonfire Night approaches, it is important to remember the safety warnings that are put in place. Despite the annual safety warnings, Bonfire Night will quite often end in serious injury for a number of people. Statistics have confirmed that a third of parents and grandparents have witnessed an injury during Bonfire Night. Ambulance services have also seen an increase in the number of firework-related injuries that are reported.
In order to stay safe on Bonfire Night we have set out some helpful tips below:
– Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time
– Read and follow the instructions on each firework, using a torch if necessary
– Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back
– Keep naked flames away from fireworks
– Never return to a firework once it has been lit
– Don’t put fireworks in your pockets
– Direct any rocket fireworks away from spectators
– Do not give sparklers to under 5s
– Make sure everyone handling sparklers wears gloves
– Hold sparklers at arm’s length while being lit
– Light sparklers one at a time
– When the sparkler has finished put it in a bucket of cold water
– Try and ensure one person is responsible for the bonfire
– Children should be supervised at all times
– Choose a site away from wooden fences, sheds and where children will be playing
– Never pour petrol or paraffin on to a fire
– Keep a bucket of water handy
– Avoid loose clothing
– Tie back long hair
– After the party pour water on the fire rather than leaving it to burn out
The most common types of injuries that ambulances services see are burns, debris in the eye from bonfires and fireworks and smoke inhalation. Between 2017 and 2018 NHS and A&E services attended at 4,436 fireworks injuries. Around half of these injuries had been sustained by children under 16.
At Jackson Boyd we have extensive experience of dealing with injuries sustained as a result of fireworks or bonfires.
If an individual came to us for assistance we would have to consider whether we would be able to prove negligence in such a case. Was the fireworks display properly risk assessed? What safety procedures were in place? What instructions were given?
In addition to looking at the issue of negligence we would also have to look into the exact injuries sustained in order to value them. In order to do this we will require to obtain a medical report from an independent medical expert in order to determine the exact nature of the injuries sustained. The expert would require to meet with the individual and would have copies of their medical records. Once the report has been finalised we would then look to value the injury. In order to do this we would look at previous cases that have been decided as well as The Judicial College Guidelines. This is how we will always look to value the injuries you have sustained as the result of an accident.
The Judicial College Guidelines provide guidance as to the likely range of compensation for a specific type of injury. For instance, the guidelines state that someone who has suffered significant burns covering 40% or more of their body would be likely to receive an award in excess of £83,550. In cases involving burns the following considerations require to be looked at when considering the likely award:
a. The percentage body area affected by the burns;
b. Whether the burns are full thickness, partial thickness or superficial;
c. The cosmetic impact of the injuries and the injured person’s reaction to them;
d. The need for (and extent of) surgery;
e. Any resulting physical disability;
f. The psychological impact.
If you have been injured at a Bonfire Night party or fireworks display then please get in touch with our specialist team on 0333 222 1855 or at by clicking here and we will be only too happy to guide you through the process.