FIRE and health services have joined forces to urge everyone to take care with fireworks.
Cleveland Fire Brigade and the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have joined forces to urge people to stay safe in the run up to Bonfire Night next week.
It comes as there were fewer firework injuries reported by the hospital trust last year than in 2012, but bosses still believe any injuries are too many.
There were four people who attended accident and emergency at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, which treats patients from Hartlepool and East Durham, in 2013, compared to nine in 2012.
Hands and fingers are the most likely parts of the body to be burned in a firework accident.
Stuart Harper, accident and emergency matron at University Hospital of North Tees, wants to see the number reduced still further.
“We don’t see anything like as many firework injuries as we used to,” he said. “But one is one too many.
“We want to do everything we can to prevent incidents which can cause serious harm.
“The last thing we want is to stop people enjoying Bonfire Night, so we are working with the fire service to remind people to follow the firework code.”
Cleveland Fire Service community safety head Dave Turton said: “A fun evening can turn to tragedy very quickly if people don’t treat fire and fireworks with respect.”
There are nine basic rules of the code:
l Keep fireworks in a closed box;
l Follow the instructions for each firework;
l Light at arm’s length;
l Stand well back;
l Never go back to a lit firework;
l Never put fireworks in your pocket;
l Never throw fireworks;
l Keep pets indoors;
l Use only BS7114 fireworks.
Extra care is needed with sparklers which should never be given to a child under five years.
Spent sparklers should be dumped in a container of water.