Northern Ireland fireworks injuries statistics 2015

Date published: 15 December 2015

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) today published statistics relating to injuries caused by fireworks during the 2015 Halloween period (17 October to 14 November).

The statistical bulletin presents information on the number of persons attending emergency care departments as a result of a firework related injury during the 2015 Halloween period. It details information on the date of the incident, age of the person injured, and nature of injury, location of the incident, type of firework, and the method of departure from the emergency care department.

The information release is published on the Departmental website.

Key Points

During the 2015 Halloween period:

  • 15 persons reported to an emergency care department in Northern Ireland with a firework related injury, three less than the same period in 2014 (Table 1).
  • Of the 15 persons injured, 13 (86.6%) were aged under 18 years (Table 5).
  • Almost seven in 10 (66.7%) persons injured were male (Table 6).
  • 15 persons attending emergency care departments had a total of 17 firework related injuries, with the wrist \ hand (five injuries) reported as the most common site of injury (Table 7).

Notes to editors: 

1. This information is collected as part of a manual exercise carried out by staff working in emergency care departments. It is conducted around a limited 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.

2. The source of the information is the annual Departmental Fireworks Injuries return FWK1.

3. This annual statistical release is currently the subject of a National Statistics consultation, which includes a proposal to discontinue the publication and its associated data collection. You are invited to provide feedback on the proposals, in the consultation, by Thursday 14 January 2016.

4. All persons reporting to emergency care departments (including minor injuries units) for the first time with an injury caused directly by fireworks are included in the return.

5. Follow-up attendances at emergency care departments and attendances at minor injuries units on referral from emergency care departments are not included.

6. The 2015 Halloween period covered the four-week period from Saturday 17 October to Saturday 14 November 2015 inclusive. Information for previous years reported in this release covers similar four-week periods around Halloween.

7. Recording of information on location where injury occurred and type of firework involved was not mandatory.

8. 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.

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.

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.

Further information on Northern Ireland Firework Injuries is available from:

Hospital Information Branch
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Annexe 2, Castle Buildings
Stormont, BT4 3SQ
Tel: 028 90 522504


10. Media queries to DHSSPS Information Office on 028 9052 0579, or out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.

Share this page

Back to top