RoSPA Safer Fireworks

Statistics - Northern IrelandStatistics

Northern Ireland 2011 - Notes

  1. Background
    A survey of fireworks injuries has been carried out annually since 1996 following the enactment of legislation allowing the sale of fireworks in Northern Ireland. The Explosives (Fireworks) Regulations (Northern Ireland) came into operation in 2002, making it compulsory for anyone wishing to purchase, possess and use fireworks for a garden display, to obtain a license. The main purpose of this survey is to assess the effect of the legislative changes since 1996 and the impact of fireworks awareness, safety and enforcement campaigns delivered by the Department of Health, Social Services & Public Safety (DHSSPS) in partnership with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and in cooperation with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS).
  2. Technical Notes
    This statistical release is part of an annual series presenting information on the number of persons injured by fireworks and treated at emergency care departments in Northern Ireland during the Halloween period. The 2011 Halloween period covered the four weeks from Monday 17th October to Monday 14th November 2011 inclusive. It details information on the date of the incident, age of the person injured, nature of the injury, location of the incident, type of firework, and the method of departure from the emergency care department.
  3. Data Collection
    Information presented in this brief is collected annually over a four week period between mid-October and mid-November using the Fireworks Injuries return (FWK1). The FWK1 information return records all persons reporting to hospital emergency care departments for the first time with an injury caused directly by fireworks. The return was introduced as an interim measure to monitor the volume of persons presenting at emergency care departments during the Halloween period with injuries from fireworks until such time as a functional patient level dataset became available.
  4. Rounding
    Percentages have been rounded to one decimal place and as a consequence some percentages may not sum to 100.
  5. Data Quality
    The data featured in this brief has been provided by HSC Trust and Hospital information staff and has been validated by Hospital Information Branch (HIB) prior to release. FWK1 information returns are submitted to HIB each year. HIB perform a series of validation checks to verify that information is consistent both within and across HSC Trusts / Hospitals. Trend analysis is used to monitor annual variations.Queries arising from validation checks are presented to HSC Trusts for clarification and if required returns may be amended and/or resubmitted.
  6. The information presented in this statistical release is collected as part of a manual exercise from each emergency care department. The exercise is carried out over a fixed four-week period in order to minimise the data collection burden on staff and to ensure comparability from year to year. It does not therefore include injuries from fireworks outside the survey period and will not include injuries which were not sufficiently serious to warrant attendance at an emergency care department.
  7. The source of the information is the annual departmental Fireworks Injuries return FWK1.
  8. All persons reporting to hospital emergency care departments (including minor injuries units) for the first time with an injury caused directly by fireworks are included in the return.
  9. Review attendances at emergency care departments (including minor injuries units) are not included.
  10. The 2011 information return covered the four-week period from Monday 17th October to Monday 14th November 2011 inclusive. Information for previous years reported in this release covers similar four-week periods around Halloween.
  11. Recording of information on location where injury occurred and type of firework involved was not mandatory.
  12. The FWK1 return has been collected since 1996 when the number of firework related injuries peaked at 202. The first Northern Ireland Fireworks Injuries publication was for the 2000 reporting period and included figures for the reporting periods of 1999 and 2000 and the publication has been produced each year since.
  13. There are three separate categories of emergency care facility included in this publication:

    Type 1 Emergency Care Department - A consultant-led service with designated accommodation for the reception of emergency care patients, providing both emergency medicine and emergency surgical services on a round the clock basis. Northern Ireland Fireworks Injuries 2011 Page 15

    Type 2 Emergency Care Department - A consultant-led service with designated accommodation for the reception of emergency care patients, but which does not provide both emergency medicine and emergency surgical services and/or has time-limited opening hours.

    Type 3 Emergency Care Department - A minor injury unit with designated accommodation for the reception of patients with a minor injury and/or illness. It may be doctor or nurse-led. A defining characteristic of this service is that it treats at least minor injuries and/or illnesses and can be routinely accessed without appointment.
  14. Figures included within this document are accurate as at 13th December 2011, any changes to these figures will be reflected in subsequent issues of this publication.

Additional Information

Further information on Northern Ireland Fireworks Injuries, is available from:

Mr. Caolan Laverty
Hospital Information Branch
Information & Analysis Directorate
Department of Health, Social Services & Public Safety
Stormont Estate
Belfast, BT4 3SQ

Tel: 028 905 22504
Fax: 028 905 23288
Email: caolan.laverty@dhsspsni.gov.uk

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