Sunday 24 January 2021

Fireworks ban resulted in fewer injuries but ‘400 is still too many’

Photo: Odi Busman

Last year’s New Year fireworks ban has resulted in a 70% drop in firework related injuries but the number is still too high, injury prevention body VeiligheidNL has said.

Based on figures from both hospital emergency departments and family doctors, some 400 people were treated for fireworks related injuries on the night compared to 1,300 the previous year.

‘We are happy to see that the ban led to a significant drop in fireworks victims. Fortunately there has not been a significant shift to heavy illegal fireworks. But we still think 400 victims is too many seeing there was a blanket ban,’ VeiligheidNL research manager Birgitte Blatter said.

Two thirds of the injured were younger than 20 and four in five were men. Two in five were treated for burns while the number of eye injuries fell almost by half. Three people had to have fingers amputated on the night.

Although the firework ban was widely ignored, and dozens of cars were set on fire, police and the emergency services were called out some 30% fewer times than during ‘normal’ New Year celebrations, officials said.

The firework ban was declared to stop the emergency services having to deal with firework injuries on top of coronavirus and to prevent more coronavirus outbreaks.

Ministers are now under pressure to have the ban made permanent.

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