Firework injuries spark safety plea

Alex Taylor who has injured his hand with a firework.
Alex Taylor who has injured his hand with a firework.
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SAFETY chiefs today issued a fresh warnning about the dangers of fireworks after a teenager was maimed by a rocket.

As revealed in yesterday’s Gazette, 17-year-old Alex Taylor, of Fenton Road, Blackpool, fears he may never regain full use of his left hand again after he accidentally lit the explosive while lighting a cigarette.

Parts of his fingers were blown off in the explosion.

Fire chiefs today issued advice to help revellers avoid a similar fate this coming Bonfire Night.

Sean Hennessy, safety manager for Lancashire fire and Rescue Service’s western area, hopes people enjoy the festivities responsibly.

He told The Gazette: “The important thing to bear in mind is fireworks need to be used safely.

“The guidance on boxes tends to be fairly clear.

“The organised displays are so much safer and if people do build their own bonfire at home they run the risk of adding things which contain toxic fumes.

“They can end up putting themselves, as well as their families and friends, at risk.”

Mr Hennessy says out of control and unauthorised bonfires also cause danger to the firefighters who are called out to tackle them.

He added: “People just put thinks like gas canisters and aerosol cans on and there’s always a threat to the firefighters.

“In effect we’re putting out people’s fun but people let them get too big and too large, and it’s a public nuisance to be fair.

“There is a difference between an organised bonfire and people just burning rubbish.”

Mr Hennessy also offered his advice to those wanting to set off their own rockets, as well as those selling them.

He said: “It’s illegal for anyone under 18 to use fireworks.

“If you do use them, make sure you use them in the open and not in confined spaces.

“When you’re buying fireworks make sure you buy them from an accredited shop and when you use them make sure you stand well back, never go near lit firework.”

The main organised Guy Fawkes’ Night display in the resort takes place at Blackpool Cricket Club from 5.30pm on Monday.

Alex said: “After what’s happened to me I would just ask people to be safe and keep away from fireworks because what I’ve done has messed up my day to day life.”

Read how The Gazette reported the incident involing Alex Taylor: