A Proper Health & Safety Matter

  morddwyd 08:22 04 Nov 2011

Many will no doubt look at the title and the poster and groan, as I have been known to make the odd H&S comment, but every year, about this time, a real H&S issue goes virtually unchallenged.

The practice of allowing every man and his brother (and sister) to go to the local store and buy unlimited amounts of explosives and take them home to set off in their back gardens, in many cases allowing children to play with them, is totally indefensible.

The number of people injured by fireworks each year far exceeds the total number injured by conkers since the game began, and yet we allow, even encourage, it to go on.

  Mr Mistoffelees 08:31 04 Nov 2011

I have long thought fireworks should only be available for organised displays and banned from general sale to the public.

  interzone55 08:37 04 Nov 2011

The irony is that there is a limit to the amount of fireworks a store can hold, but no limit to how many you can keep in your house.

  Al94 08:37 04 Nov 2011

That's how it is in Northern Ireland, you need to purchase a licence before being able to buy fireworks legally http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/do-it-online/leisure-home-and-community-online/apply-for-a-fireworks-licence.htm

  Brumas 09:20 04 Nov 2011

morddwyd, I totally agree. Controversially I believe people buying fireworks to be quite daft, they may as well just set fire to a pile of folding money because. in reality, that is all that they are doing! Same as smokers really!!

I'll get my coat ;o}

  carver 09:44 04 Nov 2011

Sorry but it is not the fire work that causes the injury but inproper use, you would be far better banning people from using lawn mowers unless they undergo training in there use, or step ladders, or flower pots.

An even better idea would be to ban any child under the age of 10 from any kitchen, that would prevent about 60000 accidents a year.

Some accidents are just unavoidable and most are down to a lack of supervision by parents who just do not seem to understand what can happen untill it's to late.

  carver 10:24 04 Nov 2011

fourm member, the largest percentage of accidents are caused by sparklers, given to them by parents who then allow them to run around with them.

If parents started taking more responsibility for the safety of their child when fire works are being used then maybe accidents rates would come down.

We don't ban bikes because children are injured on them, or skate boards so why try and ban something that gives pleasure to millions of people every year.

  spuds 10:51 04 Nov 2011

It hasn't been so bad in my area this year, with fireworks being let off in the late evening. Perhaps this is due to more control that the police and council have been involved with this year.

In the area that I live there are various and many celebrations (Diwali, Navarati, Guy Fawkes etc) requiring the letting off of fireworks, and in the main most of this is done in controlled circumstances, more so over the past few years. Which can and is an improvement, and perhaps should now lead to a serious consideration of public use licence procedure implementation?.

Regarding the use of sparklers, I wonder how many people have burnt their fingers on a 'dead' sparkler. I have, and I know others who have done also.

  anskyber 10:52 04 Nov 2011


Without wishing to sound trite maybe its because the numbers of fatalities on skateboards was too small to be recorded nationally and are almost exclusively due to collisions with motor vehicles.

No one is arguing here that the pleasure of fireworks should be removed from families, rather that the environments where fireworks are displayed should be controlled.

The new year display eg in London is exceptional and if you forgive the pun you get more bang for your bucks.I enjoy firework displays and long may they continue in safety.

  interzone55 12:09 04 Nov 2011

It's not their improper use that causes injury with fireworks

When I was 5 we visited the local organised fireworks display. It was very cold so I had three pairs of pants on.

A firework exploded at ground level instead of in the air and sent a red hot ball out sideways, 100 yards or so into its journey it collided with my leg, burning through all three pairs of pants and leaving a nice scar on my shin that's still visible 37 years later.

Many years later I was in charge of letting off the fireworks at an organised display for our local church, the bulk of the fireworks had been donated by a local wholesaler and there was a fantastic rocket, about the size of a beer can attached to a sturdy garden cane. This thing should have cost around £20, and had a nice long fuse to light it from a safe distance.

When launched it should have flown 500 feet then exploded, instead it shot up around 20 feet, turned left and flew across the road and straight into the roof of the church community centre. By some miracle it didn't explode, instead fissling out, but to be safe we got the fire brigade to remove it.

  spuds 12:45 04 Nov 2011

Perhaps a word of warning, our local police and the council have put out a statement, that about three years ago there was a ban on a certain type of high explosive and unreliable very dangerous firework. These fireworks have started to appear again, and the police/council are not sure if this is old stock or new imports.

Perhaps more for the argument of public licencing and stricter controls?.

I note that some cities in America have already put in regulations of bans or usage of fireworks. Perhaps this is a stronger example of the way, the UK should think?.

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