Bonfire night safety advice

editorial image

Remember, remember - first aid this November.

With November 5 just one week away, St John Ambulance has launched a firework fan’s guide to staying safe during Bonfire Night celebrations.

St John Ambulance volunteers will be attending 14 firework events across the county so that anyone who needs first aid gets it quickly. But injuries are much more likely to occur at private parties, where trained volunteers won’t be on hand to help.

Every year, around 1,000 people will visit A&E for treatment of a firework-related injury in the four weeks around November 5. But with some basic first aid skills, everyone can be prepared to help in a firework first aid emergency.

Firework Fans’ First Aid Guide

Burns or scalds

If someone has got a burn or scald:

* Run it under cold water for at least 10 minutes. You need to completely cool their skin to prevent pain, scarring or further damage;

* If the burn is on a child, or if you think it’s a serious burn (for example, if it’s deep, larger than the size of their hand, or on the face, hands or feet) call 999/112 for an ambulance;

* Remove any jewellery or clothing near the burn (unless they’re stuck to it);

* Don’t pop any blisters or apply creams – this can make it worse;

* Once cooled, cover the burn with cling film or a plastic bag;

* If necessary, treat them for shock, by laying them down with their legs raised and supported above the level of their heart.

Debris in the eye

If someone has got something in their eye:

* Tell them not to rub it, so they don’t make it worse;

* Pour clean water over their eye to wash out what’s in there and/or to cool the burn;

* If this doesn’t work, try to lift the debris out with a damp corner of a clean tissue;

* If this doesn’t work either, don’t touch anything that’s stuck in their eye – cover it with a clean dressing or non-fluffy material* Then take or send them straight to hospital.

Smoke inhalation

If someone has inhaled smoke fumes:

* Move them away from the smoke so they can breathe in some fresh air;

* Help them sit down in a comfortable position and loosen any tight clothing around their neck to help them breathe normally;

* If they don’t recover quickly, call 999/112 for an ambulance.

Visit for more firework first aid tips. You can also download the free St John Ambulance first aid app (available for iPhone and Android devices) or visit for general advice and to find a first aid course near them.