Be Safe on Bonfire Night – Avoid Serious Injury

Be Safe on Bonfire Night

 

Bonfire Night is a special holiday in the UK celebrating the commemoration of the failed attempt on King James’ life by, infamous plotter, Guy Fawkes. The tradition, steeped in history, is celebrated by thousands of firework displays up and down the country, in both small-scale back garden affairs and elaborate displays in front of packed crowds.

Whether you are participating at a high or low key event, it is paramount that all those involved are both aware of the risks that fireworks and bonfires pose, as well as taking the necessary steps to avoid accidents and potential serious injuries. In the last few years nearly 1,000 injuries have been attributed to fireworks, with almost half of them being children.

Sincere Law - Fireworks & Serious Injury

Beware the Risks

Bonfire night poses a selection of potential injury threats when fireworks and bonfires are treated irresponsibly. They can also cause further problems if the same risks are presented to children, who may be unaware of the full potential for danger.

Our safety tips are designed to keep you aware but also able to ensure that you can enjoy what can be one of the most mesmerising nights of the year. With a little care and attention, Bonfire Night can go off with a bang and without a hitch.

 

Sparkler Safety

To begin we touch on possibly the most common injury to children on Bonfire Night, using sparklers. These dazzling tools can provide a few moments of joy for many children by making patterns, writing their name or just waving them in the air. With a burning temperature of 2,000 degrees Celsius however, which is over 15 times the boiling point of water, third degree burns are not uncommon for those exposed to them.

The third degree is one of the most severe burns as it singes not only the epidermis but goes as deep as the dermis and the nerve endings in skin, often causing discolouration, scarring, blistering and disfigurement depending on where it takes place.

Sparklers should always be stored in a cool, dry box, only to be taken out one at a time for lighting. Always use gloves to avoid burning; this counts for both the lighter and the user. With that said, any children under the age of five are best left watching, rather than holding them themselves. Have a cold water bucket on hand for when the sparkler is spent (a used sparkler can still run hot for a long time following burnout). Cold water is the best way to ensure it cools, keeping it away from any young children who otherwise may be tempted to pick up a hot spent sparkler left on the floor.

Sparklers possibly pose the biggest threat on Bonfire Night, given the widespread use and proximity to them. It doesn’t get any closer than holding the mini firework in your hand, so the awareness of the threat they pose needs to be at the front of the mind.

Sparkler Safety with Fireman Sam

 

Firework Safety

Displays vary from a humble value pack bought at the local supermarket for the back garden, to the expansive public displays like the Lord Mayor’s show in London or the most popular in the UK, Lewes Firework Display, which is attended by over 30 Bonfire groups.

Fireworks offer the best visuals, lighting up the sky in a multitude of colours and patterns. While they provide the biggest spectacle of the evening, they must be managed with care as a mishandled firework can easily become a painful and dangerous mistake.

Our advice on firework safety would be to take the safest option and take the family to a public display. Displays are a managed event and will have all the relevant health & safety safeguards required to ensure all have a safe but mesmerising time.

An organised event near you is likely to have the most expansive display around and likely to beat out anything that can be bought from a local supermarket.

If you do decide you’d like to put on a small display at home, you may find that taking time to properly set up during the day can assist the smooth running of your display and maximise safety. Read the instructions on the fireworks during the day when it’s light and lay them out ready for you to set off later that evening. If you want a seamless display, you can purchase single fuse displays that only require lighting once, removing the need to walk over and light individually (reducing risk).

Sincere Law - Serious Injury & Sparklers

If you are setting up at home, ensure your display area is clear of trees, hedges, bushes, sheds and other structures blocking the firework’s path. If you have a lot of grass near the display area we would recommend placing each firework in a bucket of soft earth, lighting them with a taper to keep any early sparks away from flammable surfaces.

When the display starts in full, keep everyone watching away from the firework area and have a first aid kit on hand as a safeguard. If you have friends or family over, who are drinking alcohol, ensure they do not try and get involved in the display. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix!

 

Bonfire Safety

The main attraction and the annual events namesake, bonfires, are seen the length and breadth of the country. Bonfires can be made from the old shed in a back garden, good burning wood brought in for the community firework display and all manner of weird and wonderful materials. Each bonfire has its own story.

If you have made a bonfire at home and have invited visitors around for the evening, you’ll need to be aware of the threat of an open fire and manage it accordingly. You may have an effigy of Guy Fawkes sat atop your bonfire, whether you do or don’t, you’ll need to be aware of everything thrown on your bonfire to control the blaze, including what Guy is wearing.

For the base of a bonfire, it’s wise to use simple, good burning materials like cuttings of wood to build up the structure. The best materials for kindling (used to light the fire) include:

  • Dead plants and grasses
  • Wax
  • Lint
  • Birch bark
  • Wood shavings
  • Paper
  • Dry leaves

For the actual structure itself, it is best to use sturdy objects such as dry wood blocks, twigs and cardboard. Build up from a large base into a peak. To stop the fire spreading if it is on grass, place stones and rocks around the outer edge to contain the fire.

Sincere Law & Bonfire Safety

There should never be any highly flammable materials or liquids on the fire, as even the smallest amount can cause the fire to unexpectedly erupt, causing flames to shoot out from the main fire. Aerosols, alcohol, petrol and paints are all dangerous when thrown onto a fire given their highly reactive nature.

As with firework displays, all attendees should be placed well back in case the fire spits and should definitely be kept further away if consuming alcohol. Fireworks and alcohol are a bad mix, so is fire and alcohol.

 

Be Safe & Enjoy!

It can be easy to get sucked into the dangers of bonfire night, with the possibility of being burned by bonfires, fireworks and sparklers. It’s even easier if you are a parent to worry about your child, given the extensive campaigns promoting fire safety to children. The reality, however, is that if you are conscientious about the dangers and act in a level headed manner throughout the evening, you are more likely to have a fantastic time watching the flames spur up into the night, as the sky is blanketed by flashes and explosions.

Sincere Law do have the ability to help if you suffer as a result of somebody else’s negligent actions with fire or fireworks. We are open from 8am – 9pm daily and have a team of dedicated specialists to help you through a serious injury claim. To get in touch should you suffer the worst you can call on 0800 092 2896 or you can fill in our contact form here to get in touch. We do hope however that you, your family and friends have a safe, enjoyable bonfire night filled with cheer and spectacle.

Sincere Law & Bonfire Night Safety Tips

 

Serious Injuries – Life and care following an injury

 

A man from Bognor Regis recently received compensation following a life changing brain injury as the result of a car accident. Included in the payment was the sound knowledge that the care he will need for the rest of his life will be covered. The article resonated with us at Sincere Law. We feel one of our most important jobs when fulfilling a claim is that everybody, including the family of the claimant, feels confident they won’t be financially insecure in the future as a result of care costs.

Dealing with serious injuries including brain injuries, spinal injuries, road accident victims, burn victims, amputees and others, we have a wealth of experience of what aftercare may be required. Changes to lifestyles of victims and their families are often needed depending on the circumstances of their injuries. Some are wheelchair bound, some need changes to the home environment, and some may need carers to assist them throughout the day. What’s important to them is that they need not panic over costs affecting them in later life.

 

Life after injury

As serious injury specialists, we’ve seen many cases where lives are changed significantly and the person affected needs assistance to live a comfortable, full life. At the basic level, aftercare allows you to run a home, live cleanly and feed themselves with no pressure of running into financial problems.

In the more severe injury cases, we have ensured all affected were able to fulfil future development aspirations such as going to college or university, giving access to learning at a local facility, regardless of the injury suffered. Having to radically change your life due to an accident that wasn’t your fault can be extremely stressful and worrying. With Sincere Law, we try to take away all of that and let you or your loved one fulfil those goals no matter what has happened.

Depending on circumstances, extent of injuries and the changes needed to be made to living conditions following injury; victims can often feel under strain; suffering symptoms of depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. All those conditions must be treated with extreme care. Ensuring full recovery from mental health problems is a top priority. Previously we have ensured care was provided to deal with the prevention of:

  • Suicide
  • Sectioning
  • Being sent to prison
  • Children going into care
  • Family break ups
  • And others.

The effects of serious injury can be devastating for all concerned; to get back to normality as soon as possible is a must. The above examples are some of the most severe cases. Having your life dramatically changed can have untold effects that can harm a person and their personality. We aim to assist so that none of these situations would ever have to arise, and that you and your family can enjoy a healthy, full life after injury.

 

Expert Opinions

During any claim, it’s important the person involved is well looked at by medical professionals and the extent of damage is reviewed. Immediately following a serious injury, there are medical and court costs. Only looking at the present however could lead to a person and their family struggle to deal with the extended impact of possible care and alternative living arrangements needing to be made for years to come.

We asked Chris Walker, Sincere Law catastrophic and serious injury partner about aftercare in cases relating to Sincere Law, he told us:

“Without properly assessing the future needs of a serious injury claimant, it’s almost a fruitless venture to go ahead with the claim at all. Short term, the benefits of their compensation are good for them, but many people forget the financial and emotional burdens of having to deal with the lasting effects of these injuries in later life.”

 

Aftercare – What to expect?

Anyone who has suffered from a serious injury and wants to make a claim through Sincere Law can expect the same level of commitment towards their future as Josh has. It’s essential that we employ highly qualified experts in all fields of serious injury. That’s exactly what Sincere law can provide and will provide for all claimants. The claims process is much more than a simple compensation ruling and payout, it’s about how somebody with a serious injury will move on and continue to live their life as best they can under often very testing and difficult circumstances.

If you, a family member or anyone else has suffered from serious injury and you would like more information on our medical assessments, aftercare or would like to know if you are able to make a claim, please contact us on 0800 092 2896 or get in touch here.

 

What is Serious Injury? Making a Claim

Making a claim for serious injury, whether it be for you, a partner, family or other, can be a daunting task. Often the results of serious injury claims can last for an extended period of time, long after the initial accident that causes it. Before any claims are made, it must be understood, what exactly IS serious injury considered to be in the UK and what process is involved when making a claim?

Serious Injury Defined

At its most basic level, and using clear terms, serious injury is classed as “an injury which results in a person being detained in hospital as an in patient”. In addition to this dictionary definition, there are types of injuries also included as “serious”. These are:

  • Fractures
  • Concussions
  • Internal Injuries
  • Crushing
  • Burns (excluding friction burns)
  • Severe Cuts
  • Severe General Shock (requiring medical treatment even if not resulting in a stay as an in-patient.)

What’s the difference?

Personal injury and severe injury claims are to be handled separately as not all personal injury claims are serious injury claims. The major difference between the two are that non serious injuries are the opposite of the above definition, with minor injuries judged to be largely treatable at the scene of the accident. These include:

  • Sprains
  • Bruises
  • Minor Cuts
  • Slight Shocks

Sincere Law & Your Claim

As specialists in Serious Injury, and being the UK’s leading claims handlers, Sincere Law has all the knowledge needed to make a successful claim and help the process of rebuilding following a serious injury.

Treatment following the injury is a crucial part of a claimants post accident care. Sincere Law thankfully has some of the best and most qualified medical specialists in the UK. Our team consists of specialists in the fields of:

  • Head & brain injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Amputations
  • Severe burns
  • Chronic pain
  • And others

More than simply getting through a claims process, we offer a thorough and complete service that allows seamless movement for a claim from beginning to end, including treatment and advice during the claim. With over 27 years of experience behind us, we have the in house, expert, legal knowledge you will need carry a claim through.

Aftercare & peace of mind

Making a successful claim simply isn’t enough when it comes to serious injuries. Many cases go further than a compensation payout and will have lasting effects on not only the person involved but immediate family too. Depending on the type of injury, lifestyle changes may need to be altered; changes to living arrangements including house and car developments could be required or in more severe cases, carers needing to be in place to assist in the long term.

 

Aftercare and support from Sincere Law is something we pride ourselves on. We want to go further and make the lives of those affected as comfortable as possible following serious injury. After making a successful claim, to make a real difference to those affected, there must be adequate plans in place to prepare for life after the injury.

 

Our team works tirelessly to get the very best outcome for all affected, making definite the time; not only immediately following the injury; but the long term (sometimes the rest of the affected persons life), is as easy and comfortable as it can be for all involved.

Making a Claim

From start to finish, enquiring, making and carrying through a claim with Sincere Law is simple, stress free and reassuring with the knowledge that, at every stage, you will be looked after by our large, experienced team of claims specialists. Initially, all you need to do is get in touch with us by calling our claims centre. A description of the circumstances is all that’s initially required to help us advise and decide on whether you have a good claim and are eligible to proceed. At Sincere Law we try to give you peace of mind when any client decides to proceed; with that in mind, our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you think that either yourself, a family member, partner or spouse has suffered a serious injury and would like to find out more information or make a claim, please contact us here or call us on 0800 092 2896.