Men, and the over 30 are mostly involved in firework accidents, according to The Directorate for Safety and Emergency Planning (DSB). The organization asked people to be careful when the fireworks are set off on New Year’s Eve.
‘A small moment’s negligence could have major consequences,’ said Director, Cecilie Daae of DSB.
Figures from DSB show that it is especially men who are injured while using fireworks. New Year’s celebration in 2016 led to 65 registered accidents involving fireworks.
A total of 52 people were injured in these accidents, according to DSB. 62% of those were men, and 15% were women. In 23% of cases, no gender was stated.
Hands and head are particularly exposed. 28 of the injured in 2016 had fingers or hands injured, while 14 people had head or face damage. Daae encouraged the use of safety goggles.
‘Both those lighting the fireworks, and those watching should wear goggles,’ she said.
Most accidents were reported in Hordaland (14), Oslo (11), and Akershus (9).
In addition to personal injury, in 27 cases, material damage was recorded.
Eight of these involved fires, and five needed fire extinguishers. The Norwegian Fire Protection Association also asked people to take precautionary measures during New Year’s celebrations.
Managing Director, Rolf Søtorp, believes that some of the personal injury related to fireworks is connected to high alcohol intake.
‘With alcohol intake, the risk assessment capacity decreases, as does the reaction time capacity. Therefore, our advice is that a sober person takes care launching the fireworks,’ said Søtorp.
Despite the increase in accidents from 2015 to 2016, there was a decline in recent years. In 2008, a ban was imposed on the purchase and use of so-called ‘pinnacles’.
‘This has led to a lower level of reported injury, personal injury and material damage, now than before the introduction of the ban,’ DSB wrote in the report.
The elderly are the biggest victims
It isn’t the youngest involved in the most accidents. Of those injured in 2016, 16 people were over 30 years of age. By comparison, seven people were under 18,and nine people were between the ages of 18 and 29 years. For 20 of the injured, age wasn’t specified.
In the past eight years, the percentage of injured under 18 years old, and between18 and 29 years old had a decline, while the percentage of those injured over 30 years old increased. Daae said that even minor accidents can lead to major, life-threatening injuries.
‘It’s important to keep in mind that fireworks are explosives. They must be treated with respect’, she said.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today