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Survey finds that 60% of parents want fireworks to be sold to professional organisers only

It’s Bonfire Night, a time of year that sees firemen and A&E staff work overtime as people accidently hurt themselves with fireworks, bangers and sparklers. A new survey into firework safety by an online pharmacy has found that 60% of parent’s would like a ban on selling fireworks to the public as firework safety becomes a top priority.

The survey, commissioned by online pharmacy UKMedix asked 1,000 UK residents aged over 18 “Should fireworks only be sold to professional organisers and not the general public?” overall, 53% said that there should be no restrictions on who should buy fireworks as long as they were old enough, however the results showed that the older generation were leaning towards more restrictions than younger generations.

The results showed that:

  • 57% of over 45’s believe that fireworks should only be sold to professional organisers.
  • 44% of women wanted the same restrictions throughout all age groups.
  • 43% of 18-44 year olds did not want any restrictions on firework sales.
  • 60% of parents think that fireworks should only be sold to professional organisers and not to the general public.

Sarah Bailey from talked about the findings, saying: “Unfortunately fireworks in the wrong hands can be dangerous and can cause devastating, life changing injuries. It’s no surprise that many people would like to see the sales restricted, especially parents and the older generation, who have long seen the devastation a firework can cause.”

She added, “When you are young you think you are indestructible and maybe are not aware of the dangers posed by setting off fireworks. The most common injuries sustained are burns and bruises and these normally effect hands and the head. Most of these injuries are sustained from accidents involving rockets and air bombs/roman candle.”

Those on the frontline such as firefighters and A&E staff have long warned about the dangers of fireworks in the hands of amateurs, having seen first-hand the devastating injuries that can be caused be mishandling fireworks.

The most recent figures concerning accidents involving fireworks shows that the most common places to get injured are at private parties, in the street and in public places when non-organised displays are being set off. This would suggest that sales of fireworks to the public pose a greater risk of injury than those sold to professional organisers.

A firefighter from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service made a statement about the research saying that although he likes the idea of being able to buy fireworks for private displays that because of the dangers and the fact that younger children can get hold of them there should be tighter guidelines on firework sales to the public.

The statement read:

“Personally I like the fact that I can go into a supermarket and buy fireworks for personal use. However, looking at it from a professional basis Fireworks are extremely dangerous and the problem is that selling them over a counter means they can get into the wrong hands – especially kids, who then obviously use them irresponsibly- for example using them as weapons against others (and in extreme cases Firefighters). So I think stricter controls over the sale of fireworks, like for the use only in professional events, may not be a bad thing! I think it would certainly cut down on incidents where people have injured themselves, or caused damage to property. What we will do a lot of, especially at this time of the year, is go into schools and educate kids on the dangers of misusing fireworks.”

This latest survey comes less than two weeks after a firefighter responding to a call in Leeds was attacked by fireworks set off by kids as he tackled a small fire on a residential street. Footage from the incident was captured on a camera installed in the fire engine and shows what fire crews sometimes face during bonfire season. Check out the shocking video below:

Here is our quick guide to firework safety this Bonfire Night:

  • Keep fireworks in a closed box out of the reach of children until you want to use them.
  • Read the instructions on each firework thoroughly before lighting.
  • Light the fireworks at arm’s length.
  • Stand well back and never return to a lit firework.
  • Never throw fireworks.
  • Use only BS 7114 fireworks that are up to standards. Check this before buying as counterfeit fireworks are even more dangerous.

Sparkler safety

  • Always supervise children with sparklers.
  • Make sure that they hold them at arm’s length and away from other people.
  • Sparklers are not recommended for those under 5 years old.
  • Have a container of water handy and dump the sparkler in it after it goes out.

Picture: peaceful-jp-scenery

What do you think? Should the public be allowed to buy fireworks or should they only be sold to professional organisers? Have your say below.


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