Reckless behaviour with fireworks is one of the reasons why many people gain all kinds of injuries close to the end of the year. Information from the Emergency Health Service on injuries received during fireworks shows – such accidents are a reality. Injuries from such accidents are usually very serious. In 2014, medical assistance was provided to ten patients, including four children injured during fireworks. In 2015, medics assisted nine people, including two children.
Injuries caused by fireworks were fairly serious – a man injured his face and eyes by standing close to a place where a petard was shot. A 14-year-old boy was injured after checking why his lit petard did not fire. In another unfortunate case, a rocket was not set up stable enough. It fell and fired in the direction of a youngster standing nearby, causing serious burns. Seven people, including four children, were injured during New Year’s celebration in 2015, as reported by NMPD Communications Department manager Ilze Buksa.
In recent years, BALTA insurance association has received multiple insurance claims in relation to accidents that had taken place during New Year’s fireworks, causing injuries for people and damage to properties. Although damage to vehicles and other valuable private property can cause serious losses for owners, physical injuries are far more serious in comparison – not only do they impact one’s health, but also leave lasting consequences.
«People often do not consider the risks that could arise as a result of reckless use of pyrotechnics. Damage caused to private property is nothing when compared with injuries people could potentially suffer. Often injuries are serious and their treatment – long and laborious», – comments Personal Products and Risk Assessment Office manager Sandra Pietkevica.
To ensure the New Year’s firework does not end in tragedy, it is worth following simple safety instructions – pyrotechnics should be bought in specialized stores. Traders must also have a license to sell pyrotechnics. The safest pyrotechnics are those with CE certificate, which means the product complies with all necessary safety standards. It is also important to read the safety instruction as well. Proper choice of a safe location is also important – pyrotechnics should be positioned at a safe distance from other people and flammable objects. Pyrotechnics should be unpacked right before use. It is recommended to light pyrotechnics from the direction from which the wind blows. It is also a good idea to have a bucket of water handy in case something does go wrong.