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The BBC's Caroline Turriff
"The government fears millennium eve could be a particularly dangerous time"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 22 December, 1999, 10:37 GMT
Emma spices up fireworks campaign

Emma Bunton as she appears in the government's TV ad


Baby Spice Emma Bunton has launched a government safety campaign to warning drinkers of the dangers of handling fireworks on millennium eve.

The 23-year-old singer, who is appearing in a television advertisement as part of the campaign, said: "My advice would definitely be to remember that alcohol affects your judgement.


Fireworks and alcohol don't mix: The TV advert
"It also affects your co-ordination and you tend to take more risks, so just make sure that someone else lights the fireworks this year if you are going to have a drink. Please, let's make the millennium more fun.

"Also pets - my dogs hate fireworks, so make sure that the kids are safe... let's have a fantastic millennium and let them have a good a time as you are having."

The campaign warns that there may be additional risks on millennium eve because alcohol slows reactions, makes people over-confident and reducing their ability to supervise children.

'Multi-shot' warning

The government is also calling on people who are considering buying new style "multi-shot" fireworks to follow the instructions printed on them which state spectators must be at least 25 metres away for them to be safely let off.


Concerned: Consumer Affairs Minister Dr Kim Howells
The campaign points out that 830 people in Britain were treated in hospital for firework injuries last year.

Helping to launch the ads, Consumer Affairs Minister Dr Kim Howells said: "This New Year's Eve people will be celebrating like never before.

"Our main concern is that people will leave their displays until midnight and drink beforehand. I cannot urge people enough: if you are lighting the fuse, stay off the booze.

"No-one wants to see in a new century from a hospital bed."

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See also:
15 Oct 99 |  UK
Firework campaign gives drinkers a rocket
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