Sparks in the park – is it worth it?

With Bonfire Night less than two weeks away, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has released a new video that aims to make people think twice before taking risks with fireworks.

“Sparks in the park” follows a group of young people who make a series of bad decisions that lead to serious consequences. Based on real events, the video starts with a teenage boy storing fireworks under his bed after buying them online from an unlicensed seller. He hands them over to another boy, who meets a group of friends in a local park to set them off.

When one girl voices her concerns for their safety, she’s dismissed by the rest of the group and berated for trying to spoil their fun. However, she’s soon proved right when one of the fireworks explodes, seriously injuring another girl.
Lynsey McVay, Area Manager for Community Safety, explained:

“It’s well known that burns injuries are painful and debilitating, but this video also highlights the less obvious consequences. It shows the injured girl three months after the accident, becoming isolated from her friends as her scars have made her too self-conscious to go out in public.”

The video also addresses illegal selling and unsafe storage of fireworks, which is a criminal offence punishable by a hefty fine, imprisonment or both. It is also illegal to sell fireworks to under 18s and to set fireworks off in a public place.

AM McVay continued: “The video shows not just one, but several bad decisions – the first teenager we see should never have bought the fireworks, stored them carelessly or sold them on, and the others should have walked away much sooner. They’re risking a criminal record as well as their safety. We would encourage all parents to make sure that their children know that improper use of fireworks could affect their entire future.

If you’re going to buy fireworks, please choose a licensed and reputable retailer and follow the instructions carefully. Better yet, go to an organised display instead.”

The four-minute video ends with some powerful images of burns injuries. The video is available on the TWFRS website and social media, as well as being shown in schools and youth organisations across Tyne and Wear.

Watch the video in full: