Ahead of this week’s Guy Fawkes celebrations, Town, the EFL and its 72 member clubs are again alerting supporters to the dangers surrounding the use of pyrotechnics within football grounds.
Any instances of pyrotechnics use means innocent parties may be at risk of serious injury as a result.
The EFL is re-launching its commitment to tackle the use of pyrotechnics, which includes smoke bombs, flares and fireworks within EFL football grounds.
This was initially launched in November 2017 that saw all 72 Clubs sign up to a new Club Charter on Pyrotechnics.
Since the Charter was signed EFL Clubs have been taking strong and decisive action against any fans found attempting to bring a banned item into a ground, or those who discharge pyrotechnics.
Any supporter that has been, or found to be, in breach of the terms of the Charter is subject to a minimum three-season Club ban.
Key Pyrotechnics Facts
- Being in possession of a pyrotechnic device (flare, smoke bomb or firework) at a football match, or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985.
- Flares are used for marine distress and are designed not to be extinguished easily or quickly. They contain chemicals and burn at temperatures of 1600°C, the melting point of steel.
- Smoke Bombs burn at high temperatures and are designed to be used in wide-open spaces. They are dangerous for those with asthma or breathing difficulties and can cause panic in a tightly packed crowd.
The Results of Pyrotechnics Use
Unfortunately there have been a number of injuries as a result of pyrotechnics use over recent seasons including;
- Fans were treated for shrapnel wounds following the setting off of thunder flashes. Debris passed through jeans and caused cuts to legs.
- A 13-year-old boy received treatment to his eyes and a woman sustained a leg injury when pyrotechnics were set off.
- A 15-year-old boy suffered lung damage from a smoke bomb thrown during a game, requiring hospital treatment
- An assistant referee was struck by a lit smoke canister thrown from the stand.
- Two supporters were injured, one requiring hospital treatment, when an industrial firework was ignited and thrown in the away supporters’ toilet.
- A flare was discharged by away supporters. A steward placed his foot on the device to prevent further smoke escaping, however, the sole of his shoe melted causing injury.
- Supporters ignited a flare and an 18-year-old youth was treated for burns after picking it up.
A number of Club bans have already been issued since the launch of the Charter, including an increase in Club bans for away supporters due to the ongoing co-operation between EFL Clubs.
Clubs are permitted the flexibility to reduce the length of the Club ban should an offender recognise the danger of their actions, although the overall safety of supporters is paramount.