Shropshire firefighters in safety warning over Diwali firework parties

Shropshire's fire service is urging residents to think twice about hosting Diwali firework displays this weekend.

The celebration also know as Festival of Light is popular among south Asian communities.

Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service is appealing for residents to be aware of the dangers of holding such events at home due to the safety risks particularly to children.

Families planning to use fireworks should make sure it is done responsibly and safely.

Between 2014 and 2019 there were more than 1,000 severe burn injuries involving fireworks in England and Wales, with 38 per cent of these in youngsters under 15 years of age and the majority 67 per cent sustained by males.

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The brigade's head of protection and prevention Jon Temple said: “Diwali is an important festival and usually a major celebration for communities across Shropshire.

“Covid-19 restrictions mean that families can’t celebrate together, and we’re concerned that private firework displays will be held in people’s homes.

“We know most people are doing all they can, sticking to the rules to support us but we’re concerned about the impact of fireworks from a safety perspective.

Additional strain

"However, there will be a temptation to host bonfires at home and we have already had an incident which could have been very serious, so please carry out your celebrations in a safe, considerate, and responsible manner.

"With the country now in national lockdown - we are discouraging private, unregulated bonfires and home firework events more than ever this year.

“We’re concerned not only about the additional strain this may place on the emergency services with all large-scale events cancelled, but also the country’s ability to stem a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Please remember every social interaction is an opportunity for the virus to infect and spread.

“Under the new guidance people are only allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons such as essential work, caring for the vulnerable, shopping for food and other essentials and exercise. This overrides previous guidance around the ‘Rule of Six’.

“We usually encourage people to attend organised events, but as these should all be cancelled, the risk of fire and serious injuries due to fireworks is greater than ever.

“The damage that can be caused can have a lifelong impact with particularly severe consequences for children."

Factfile:

  • A sparkler reaches a temperature of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius - that's 20 times the boiling point of water. Three sparklers burning together generate the same heat as a blowtorch

  • A rocket can reach 150mph and go as high as 200m

  • The highest number of firework-related injuries happen at family or private parties

  • The most common injuries are to hands, followed by eyes and faces

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