AF&RS recognises 16 students for their firework safety posters

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has recognised 16 students following their work on a firework safety campaign.

The Service, along with Bath Building Society and the Rotary Club of Bath, held a ceremony last Thursday (17/10) at the Guild Hall in Bath.

The awards ceremony came after 6,000 posters were delivered to 40 schools across Bath and North East Somerset, with students asked to design a poster to highlight the dangers of fireworks.

Of those 6,000 entries, judges whittled the number down to just 16. The judges included the Deputy Mayor of Bath, Councillor Manda Rigby and staff from AF&RS, Bath Building Society and the Rotary Club of Bath.

All 16 winners, from five age categories, were invited along to the ceremony with their family.

The move comes as AF&RS try to reduce the number of people injured at fireworks displays and bonfire nights, and ties into the annual Bath Fireworks Display.

Staff from AF&RS have also been visiting schools across BANES delivering firework safety messaging, including Oldfield Park Junior School where they spoke to 240 students.

Darren Clasper, Risk Reduction Watch Manager for AF&RS, said: “This is a fantastic initiative and it is great to engage with so many peoples across the area and utilise such an inclusive programme.

“As a Service, we always want to ensure that our communities are safe and this is a great way of engaging with people and also delivering that safety messaging at a young age.

“The Rotary Club of Bath and Bath Building Society, along with ourselves, are delighted to have received so many entries and the level of work has been truly incredible. We look forward to using these posters to promote safety across the area."

Over half of firework-related injuries every year are to children under the age of 15. The most common injuries are to the hands, wrists and eyes and most of these are caused by sparklers.

AF&RS always recommends attending a properly organised display as these tend to be safer than having your own at home. However, if you are celebrating at home make sure you follow advice to keep you and your family safe.

Alan Keeling from The Rotary Club of Bath said: “The display is now in its 44th year and it has always been hugely anticipated by children and adults in Bath. 

“Once again we have launched the event by asking all the primary schools within Bath to enter the Fireworks Safety Poster Competition, and as always the key factor is Fireworks Safety.

“The school competition will ensure that even the youngest participants are aware of the potential dangers of Fireworks if handled incorrectly.”

Tiffany Hardie-Albutt, a spokesperson for Bath Building Society, added: “It was great to see all the children doing their posters at Oldfield Park Junior School; their enthusiasm and stories of fireworks were brilliant! 

“Our involvement with the Fireworks stands at 44 years this year and in those years we must have reached thousands of local children (who now have children of their own!) with the Fireworks Safety message.”

Safety advice:

  • Follow the instructions on each firework.
  • Light fireworks at arm's length, using a taper.
  • Stand well back.
  • Never go near a firework which has been lit. Even if it hasn't gone off, as it could still explode.
  • Always supervise children with sparklers.
  • Teach them to hold the sparkler at arm’s length.
  • Explain to them that sparklers get very hot and will burn their skin if not held correctly.
  • Don’t give sparklers to children under 5 years of age, as they may not understand the dangers.

For more on firework safety, visit: