Kim Fulton is a NZME. News Service regional reporter

Seventy Northland fireworks injuries in past three years

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Northlanders made 29 claims for firework-related injuries last year.
Northlanders made 29 claims for firework-related injuries last year.

Northlanders have hurt themselves with fireworks more than 70 times during the past three years.

Little wonder, the Fire Service is urging people to stay safe during this weekend's celebrations.

Fireworks sales began on Wednesday and must end tomorrow.

Northlanders made 29 claims for firework-related injuries last year, worth a total of $5830, according to ACC. The data relates to claim forms mentioning the words Guy Fawkes and fireworks.

The number of last year's claims were up on 2014 when Northlanders made 21 claims worth $14,502. In 2013 they made 21 claims worth $28,698.

Fire Service spokesman Todd O'Donoghue said there was a significant increase in unnecessary fires, damage to property, and people being injured through the misuse of fireworks during the Guy Fawkes period.

"The New Zealand Fire Service recommends people attend public fireworks displays.

"However, if people choose to purchase fireworks we advise them to read and follow the manufacturer's safety advice."

Last year, the New Zealand Fire Service attended 325 fireworks-related fires across the country, most in early November.

Mr O'Donoghue advised people to light their fireworks in open spaces away from anything flammable, and to keep a bucket of water or hose handy.

"A single irresponsible act with fireworks can lead to a huge loss of property and/or a lifetime dealing with burns and scars for some people, even through no fault of their own," he said.

Nationwide, there were 498 claims for fireworks-related injuries last year. Those claims were worth $234,347.

In 2014, there were 441 claims worth $248,710 and in 2013 there were 493 claims worth $274,980.

- Northern Advocate

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