Revellers that are getting ready for bonfire celebrations have been warned by the Sussex police to be on the lookout for a new type of firework that is being marketed to look similar to a ‘hand grenade.’
The warning was posted after two people in Sussex were permanently blinded by the firework last year. Specialists at the Brighton Sussex Eye Hospital treated dozens of patients that were injured during last year’s Lewes Bonfire. The team at the hospital stated that police inquiries suggest the injuries may be the result of ‘banger deer scarers.’
The dangerous grenades have a slow burning fuse that causes several explosives to be unleashed as the fire travels down the rope. When the fuse and explosive is cut down the firework can be lit and then tossed causing an explosion that almost looks like a hand grenade just went off.
Edward Pringle wrote to the British Medical Journal in a letter and stated that there have been many blinding injuries in countries that have legislation that control the use of fireworks and while the UK does have legislation to limit the amount of distribution, these do not fall under the guidelines since they are not actual fireworks.
According to the British Medical Journal about 52% of all firework injuries happen at public events stating that organisers should tell their audience to use eye protection and be careful while using fireworks. Pringle added that if strong legislation cannot be created then a culture that does not tolerate banger explosives being tossed into crowds needs to be fostered.
A Lewes District Council spokeswoman stated that the council has been working hard to reduce the amount of incidents at Lewes Bonfire celebrations by talking to agencies such as the Sussex Police and the bonfire societies.