Bonfire night (November 5th) is right around the corner; it is an exciting, fun-packed night filled with fun-fairs, social gatherings and an explosion of mind-blowing colours that light-up our skies. But, unfortunately, it is also a night that has become notorious for serious eye injuries and accidents involving explosives.
It has recently been reported that approximately 300 eye injuries are caused each year by fireworks, with those who handle fireworks at home as well as close-proximity bystanders said to be the ones most at risk. According to research, every single year at least 10 people in the UK lose their sight due to incidents involving fireworks, and over half of all fireworks injuries are suffered by children.
With these alarming facts out in the open, optometrists are advising everyone to take extra care and precaution both watching and using fireworks this bonfire season.
How to avoid becoming an accident-statistic and stay safe on bonfire night
- Awlays buy fireworks that meet British standards
Make sure to purchase fireworks from a trustworthy retailer and look for the ‘BS 7114’ marking on the box.
- Maintain a safe distance between you and the fireworks
Using a taper, make sure to light your fireworks at arm’s length and then stand well back.
- Keep your hands covered when using sparklers
Although sparklers are common place around bonfire season, often regarded as a safe, child-friendly option, they are actually incredibly dangerous and should be treated with caution and never given to children under 5. Sparklers can burn to temperatures up to 10 times hotter than cooking oil!
- Never consume alcohol when setting off fireworks
When handling explosives it is important to have your wits about you. An inebriated fireworks-lighter can never be a safe one.
- Wear protective eyewear
For the best eye protection around fireworks use special polycarbonate lenses – normal glasses will not protect your eyes against high-velocity injuries.
- Keep unlit fireworks in a closed box
Always keep your fireworks in a closed box and far away from the ones you are lighting.