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Northern Irelands Dangerous Fireworks History

The number of people injured by fireworks has fallen by two thirds in the last four years, it was revealed on Thursday.

Thirty people were injured during the Halloween season in 2009, two less than the previous year.

Over half of the casualties, last year were children, with the most common injuries being to the wrist or eyes. Under a third of those who attended an Accident and Emergency Department required no further treatment, while another 27% were asked to revisit A&E for an additional check-up.

Welcoming the drop in injuries, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey also praised the effectiveness of the Government's safety campaigns during the period.

"It is very encouraging to see a continuing decrease in firework-related injuries. The majority of injuries happened to young males and were caused by bangers," he said.

"It is clear that the hard-hitting fireworks safety campaigns are working and that young people are getting the message that messing around with fireworks is dangerous."

Mr McGimpsey also warned the public to not let standards slip in the years ahead.

He said: "While I am encouraged by this figure, we must not be complacent. I want local communities to take the message to heart - that although fireworks can be fun and exciting, they are nevertheless potentially very dangerous and must be handled carefully and within the law."

"It is for all of us to make sure that fireworks are handled responsibly and safely and to make sure that our youngsters can enjoy a display without risk of injury."

The amended Explosives Regulations in Northern Ireland, introduced in 2002, made it compulsory for anyone wishing to purchase, possess and use fireworks to obtain a licence.

Fireworks safety is very important, it is great to have fun and enjoy fireworks, but we must always remember that safety must come first. If you would like more information or advice about fireworks safety, check the Epic Fireworks Safety Pages

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