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Fireworks (Injuries)

Volume 130: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1988

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To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will publish the figures of injuries caused by fireworks in 1987; and if he will make a statement.

According to reports from hospitals in England, Wales and Scotland 960 people required treatment for injuries caused by fireworks during the three weeks leading up to 5 November 1987 and the few days after. The figures for 1987 and the preceding four years are shown in the table.Although the figures are somewhat disappointing, they do not justify further restrictions on the retail sale of fireworks to the public.We will be mounting a higher profile firework safety campaign again, this year urging the public to treat fireworks with care and not to misuse them. We will be asking local trading standards officers to work closely with the police in enforcing vigorously the increased penalties for selling fireworks to the under-16s and in taking action against those who let off fireworks in the streets.For its part, the fireworks industry has agreed to stop supplying mini-rockets to the shops, since these particularly lend themselves to misuse by hooligans. It is also making a training video for organisers of displays on how to run a public display safely.We are also drawing up a British standard for the performance, testing and labelling of fireworks, which should enable us to stop the importation of the more hazardous fireworks from the far east.

1987

1986

1985

1984

1983

3. Large public display155119117108111
4. Casual incident in street etc.364299435298257
5. Other place4752645954
6. Indoors2018211716

Type of firework

1. Banger163161241175184
2. Rocket174159197115107
3. Roman candle, coloured fire etc.968890103114
4. Home-made or extracted powder2414272115
5. Other proprietary fireworks109118737478
6. Sparklers9580676595
7. Unspecified type299226273225240

Severity of injury

1. Fatal injury01
2. Detained more than one night6048535561
3. Sufficient to cause absence from work of equivalent158160231161147
4. Minor injury661582632506592
5. Unspecified injury8156525533
Eye injuries (included in 2–5)312291341295293

Age group of injured persons

1. Over 20252235214180215
2. 16 to 20168145161109108
3. 13 to 15220207271208173
4. Under 13320259322281337
Total960846968778833