Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to ‘think twice’ about hosting Diwali or ‘Festival of Light’ firework displays ahead of this weekend’s celebrations.
Jon Temple, Head of Protection and Prevention - the teams that support businesses and residents, 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.
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 on Guy Fawkes night, 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."
People are injured by fireworks and admitted to hospital with children particularly at risk. Between 2014 –19 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.
The facts around fireworks are stark:
- 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 150 miles an hour and go as high as 200 metres – imagine the damage one hitting you could cause
- 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
“If people do choose to have their own private bonfire display please follow all safety advice, and follow the government guidelines of
If you are planning to use fireworks, please ensure you do this responsibly and safely. Many gardens are not big enough to safely contain a bonfire, if you insist on holding a private event, please click here for further safety advice.