Essential Bonfire Night First Aid Advice

The Fire Service has teamed up with The Great North Children’s Hospital to provide essential burns and scolds first aid advice ahead of the forthcoming Bonfire Night Weekend.

The health and wellbeing guidance could change someone’s life forever, if administered after an incident with fireworks, a bonfire, or water from a scolding hot drink.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is working in partnership with the Northern Regional Burn Centre based at The Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle as part of the Service’s Darker Nights awareness campaign in the build up to Bonfire Night.

The advice could prove priceless if the casualty is involved in an accident located at home, in a public place, or even as a result of a deliberate act of fire-setting.

Figures showed last year that deliberate fires in public areas – such as rubbish or wheelie bin fires – increased by 94% over the school holidays and Bonfire weekend.

Many of the incidents are linked to anti-social behaviour (ASB), and are quite often initiated by young people – who are putting public safety at risk.

Please find below some essential life-saving first aid guidance provided by the Northern Regional Burn Centre.

  •  If you are on fire always stop, drop and roll as you want to make sure the fire is put out.
  •  Carefully remove any jewellery or affected clothing.
  •  You need to cool down the burn, not the patient – place the area under lukewarm water for approximately 20-minutes. This is effective for up to 3-hours after the injury.
  •  Don’t apply any ice, ointments, creams, butter or tooth paste on to the burn as this can cause more problems for the patient.
  •  Place cling film over the burn, don’t wrap it around the limb as it is likely to swell, and this could cause constriction to the area.
  •  Seek help. Call 999 in the event of an emergency, or 111 for advice, and then attend hospital if needed.
  •  Please note – The first aid techniques for treating a scald or a burn from a firework are exactly the same.

Station Manager Jonathan Ramanayake, from TWFRS’s Prevention and Education team talks about the importance of staying safe this Bonfire Weekend.

He said: “Bonfire Night can be both fun and dangerous in equal measure.

“We urge people to stay safe and attend officially organised bonfire and firework displays in your local community.

“This will enable you and your family to stay relaxed and feel reassured that crowd safety has been thoroughly assessed by the organisers staging the events.”

Natalie Lee, Clinical Educator, Northern Regional Burn Centre based at The Great North Children’s Hospital, said:

“The knowledge of basic first aid when treating a burn could be a major factor in whether or not the patient incurs any lasting injuries associated with the incident.

“We always advise people to cool down the burn, and not the patient. Try and keep the person warm and comfortable at all times.

“We know there are myths out there about how to treat a burn, which include applying ice, butter, ointments or even in some cases minty toothpaste. Please run the burn under lukewarm water for up to twenty minutes, and then place some cling film carefully over the area of the burn. Please avoid putting fluffy materials over the skin as this can stick to the skin and cause additional problems further down the line.

“In the event of an emergency please call 999, and for general advice ring 111. If a baby or child has a burn bigger than a fifty pence piece then attend hospital for treatment.”