How stop, drop and roll could save a life this fireworks night

Bonfire night and firworks can be a spectacular celebration with organised events across the country. But there are lots of hazards and injuries to the hands, face and arms will happen this weekend.

A recent survey suggested most parents haven’t spoken to their children about the dangers of fireworks.

A&E units will be gearing up for an influx of patients this weekend. It’s not little children either. Teenagers are one group which are at high risk of injury.

Did you know, it is against the law for anyone under 18 to carry fireworks in public? It is also illegal for shops to sell fireworks to those under 18.

So, while we want everyone to go out and have fun, we also want to prevent as many injuries as possible.


The best advice if you or your clothes are set on fire comes from the Child Accident Prevention Trust.

You must stop, drop and roll. Stop what you are doing, drop to the ground, cover your face, and roll around to put out the flames.

Most people’s first instinct is to run but this can cause more damage. Rolling around will extinguish the flames.

Bonfires should be 18 metres (60 feet) away from buildings, fences, or trees. Make sure you are a safe distance away too!


Injury stats show the safest place to watch fireworks is at an organised event. Far more accidents happen at smaller home events.

The usual safety rules stand for fireworks. Don’t go back to a firework after it’s been lit and don’t throw fireworks especially used ones into a bonfire.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has created a 10-point safety checklist:

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and check the time you can legally set off fireworks
  1. In England, Scotland and Wales only buy fireworks that carry the UKCA marks. In the case of Northern Ireland look for the UKNI symbol. You may also see the UKNI mark along with the UKCA symbol. Keep your fireworks in a closed box, and use them one at a time
  1. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  1. Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back
  1. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  1. Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  1. Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  1. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  1. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  1. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving


Sparklers are a favourite for younger children. But did you know they are 16 times hotter than boiling water?

Avoid giving them to under 5s. Wear gloves or stick a carrot on the end of the sparkler to use as a handle for children. Keep a bucket of water nearby and put used sparklers in it.

Four-year-old Maisie Roe was injured in an accident at a firework display at home. Her Mum wants to raise awareness of the dangers of having fireworks at home. Read what happened HERE


Child Accident Prevention Trust 

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service



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