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01-11-17

A bonfire night not to remember

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NFCC and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have been working together to highlight the potential dangers of home firework displays and encourage people where possible to attend professionally run public displays, as these are safer.

This advice is being given in response to an increase in firework injuries - particularly in children under 14 -years -old. Figures from the National Burn Injury Database (NBID), which gathers data relating to specialist burns units in England and Wales shows that in 2015 and 2016, 73 children received specialist treatment in each of these years, which is a significant increase on previous recent years.

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The Roe family from North Devon learned how quickly small family display can go wrong. Four year old Maisie Roe was badly burned on Bonfire night, November 5, 2016, by an ordinary garden firework. Stephanie, her mother, is very keen to raise awareness of the dangers of having fireworks at home and is asking parents to take their children to organised displays. She has kindly shared her story with us to warn other parents of the dangers. 

The doctors say that Maisie was very lucky - if it had gone a few inches either way, she could have been blinded or have had breathing difficulties for the rest of her life. She also received the correct and prompt first aid at the scene.

Stephanie Roe commented:

"I wanted to tell Maisie’s story so if anyone considers having fireworks at home to think again and instead attend their local firework display.  I remember in the past we didn’t think twice about having fireworks at home and when one firework whizzed off in the wrong direction it was funny. Now when I hear of kids throwing them at each other in the street it makes my heart sink.

I wouldn’t want another family to have to go through what we have.  When I think how relatively minor her burns are and how much pain she has been through it's terrifying. Also how long the route is going to be to get her back to normal, it’s very scary. I always try to remember it could have been so much worse. We will certainly never, ever have fireworks at home again."

 Remember, remember organised displays are the safest place to enjoy fireworks.

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