Saracens Blog

Remember…Remember The 5th of November – Play it safe Don’t Be Injured By Fireworks This Season

More and more of us are using fireworks when celebrating a special event. We associate fireworks with fun and enjoyment and more so now given that Bonfire Night is just around the corner. This is the time of year that most of us will be either using fireworks or attending spectacular displays to the watch them.

Injured by FireworksHowever, before you light up that glitzy sparkler or turn to watch the magnificent brocades and floral patterns paint the sky, always remember to play it safe to avoid being injured by fireworks. Whether you are at home with family or friends or part of the crowd at your local display, always remember to put safety first as a preventative measure to avoid being injured by fireworks.

Every year, despite strenuous efforts by local authorities to improve on firework health and safety, many people are still being injured by fireworks and the numbers are on the increase. I have found that increasingly, it is not just children who are injured by fireworks, but adults too. As a lawyer, the type of injuries that I have seen include minor burns, major burns that require skin grafting and urgent medical attention, eye injuries, face, hair and scalp damage, psychological distress, loss of vision and even loss of life.

Being injured by fireworks can have a devastating effect on your life and in some instances the permanent nature of the scarring can have a significant, life altering impact. Many of my clients who have fireworks injuries often complain of psychological injuries as well as the physical injuries I have described above.

Whilst most firework display organisers will follow the health and safety executive’s guidelines and have insurance cover in case of any nasty accidents, others may not be that organised. Under current legislation, there is no mandatory obligation on organisations to have insurance cover that will protect you if you are injured by fireworks although thankfully, many still do.

Injured by Fireworks SolicitorsMany of my clients have been injured by fireworks in the relative safety of their own home. Injuries often occur in back gardens as a result of a misfiring firework or a failure to read the instructions properly or even a lack of proper instruction on the firework.

If you are planning to have your own event at home, maybe in your back garden, I recommend that you be wary of buying fireworks sold in unlicensed outlets or on the internet. Put the safety of your family first. Fireworks may be cheaper online or if you are buying them from abroad but not all countries insist on the strict standards applied in the U.K. so be careful.

Often fireworks may be out of date or do not comply with British or European health and safety standards. Always purchase your fireworks from a specialist fireworks shop and check that the package sold to you is marked with something known as a BS7114 mark or the CE mark. These fireworks are more likely to have been strenuously tested and could minimise the risk of you or your loved ones being injured by fireworks.

Despite following safety guidelines, accidents do still happen. I am happy to give you some guidance about what you can do if you or your friends and family are injured by fireworks.

Firstly, your well-being and safety is paramount.

You should attend a hospital or seek medical attention (at an NHS walk in centre for example) as quickly as possible. Make sure you follow this up with your GP. In particular, if you have been burnt by the firework, it is crucial that you attend to this promptly. If you are able to, take photographs of the injury and if there are any witnesses, note down their details.

If you were injured because someone deliberately threw a firework at you, this could amount to a criminal offence and you should contact the police immediately. You may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
If you are injured by fireworks at an organised event, make sure you have full details of the site or venue, a follow up address and a contact number for any safety officer on site.

Remember that if you attend an organised fireworks display event, the event organiser has a legal duty to make sure of the reasonable safety of their visitors. If health and safety guidelines have not been followed or an unsafe environment is present, you may have a right to claim compensation if you are injured by fireworks.

If you have been injured by fireworks through no fault of your own and you purchased fireworks for use in your private garden or at home, you may have a claim against the company which manufactured the fireworks. I recommend that you always retain the receipt of purchase, the packaging and any other instructions that are provided with the box.

I always recommend that you seek legal advice about your entitlement to make a claim. At Saracens Solicitors, our legal team has many years of experience in helping those who have been injured by fireworks. I hope you all have a mischief free and enjoyable time on November 5th but in the event that you or your loved ones are injured by fireworks (or have been injured in the past three years); I will happily advise you on what steps to take next.

Remember remember the 5th of November… Gunpowder treason and plot
Remember remember to keep yourself safe… Kids, adults, the lot

Injured by Fireworks Damage Solicitors

Minal Popat
Personal Injury Solicitor

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6 Responses to “Remember…Remember The 5th of November – Play it safe Don’t Be Injured By Fireworks This Season”
  1. Beatrice
    11.05.2012

    My son bought a pack of fireworks from an Indian grocer without my knowledge. Unfortunately, one of those fireworks blew up in one of his friend’s hands.

    His mother is demanding compensation from us despite us explaining that my son never forced or asked him to light it up. My son simply put it on a grass patch and was playing by alone until his friend came along and lighted one without consent from my son.

    My son told me he should have thrown the firework quickly after lighting it but he apparently did not.

    Please advise me what to do. Thank you.

    • 11.05.2012

      Dear Beatrice, thank you for your enquiry.
      This is a rather unfortunate accident, in which your son and his friend were playing with fireworks unsupervised. You have not mentioned your son’s and his friends age. It is unclear from your email, whether the mother of your son’s friend has sent you a formal pre-action letter of claim asking to be compensated for the injuries. If you have, you should seek legal advice straight away as a response of acknowledgement would need to be sent within 21 days. You should also check your insurance policies, such as household and home contents to see if you have any insurance cover for such claims being made against you. I would also query why your son’s friend was not supervised by a responsible adult at the time of the accident. If a letter of claim has been sent, you will need to act straight away and seek legal advice in order to resist any claim made against you. If you require any further assistance on your case, please contact me on mpopat@saracenssolicitors.co.uk

  2. H. Casey
    11.07.2012

    We had an accident when one of our shooting star firework went into neighbour’s tree and nearly burnt the whole tree down.
    Now they they claiming 1000 pounds from us in the form of repairs and trauma. I offered them 50 pounds and then 100 pounds and they still refused. They are insistent about the 1000 pounds and said they will file a police report. I am desperate to settle as I do not want this matter to escalate. We did not have a permit. What can I do for now please.

  3. Suzzane
    11.08.2012

    My daughter suffered a small burn on her right index finger after a firework malfunctioned. I would like to know if I can sue the vendor who sold my children some fireworks? They look like indian Pakistani or dark Iranians and my daughter said they are still selling it from their shop.

    • 11.08.2012

      Dear Suzanne,
      Thank you for your enquiry. I am sorry to learn about your daughters injury. I understand that it must be difficult to see the vendors continuing to sell products which may be defective and I share your concern in this regard.
      In relation to your daughter’s injury, if the injury was caused by a defective firework it may be possible to make a claim against either:

      1) The retailer who sold you the fireworks or
      2) The manufacturer of the firework itself.

      In order to work out the next steps, please confirm if you have retained the packaging of the fireworks and/or the receipt as proof of purchase? Kindly confirm this to me.

      If you require further advice or a free consultation, please email me on mpopat@saracenssolicitors.co.uk or call me on 0203 588 3530.

      I wait to hear from you.

    • 11.08.2012

      Dear Suzanne,

      Thank you for your enquiry. I am sorry to learn about your daughters injury. I understand that it must be difficult to see the vendors continuing to sell products which may be defective and I share your concern in this regard.

      In relation to your daughter’s injury, if the injury was caused by a defective firework it may be possible to make a claim against either:

      1) The retailer who sold you the fireworks or
      2) The manufacturer of the firework itself.

      In order to work out the next steps, please confirm if you have retained the packaging of the fireworks and/or the receipt as proof of purchase? Kindly confirm this to me.

      If you require further advice or a free consultation, please email me on mpopat@saracenssolicitors.co.uk or call me on 0203 588 3530.

      I wait to hear from you.


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