Fireworks Safety: Parents (found public information film; 1976)

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This article has been tagged as NSFL due to its disturbing visuals involving a child.


Thumbnail of the video.

Status: Found

Date found: 16 Aug 2014

Found by: British Film Institute

Fireworks Safety: Parents (or Fireworks Safety - Parents) was a British Public Information Film (PIF) made in 1976 that highlighted the dangers of parental ignorance. Airing shortly before Guy Fawkes Night, it accomplished this by including a graphic and disturbing close-up scene in which a young child is severely injured by fireworks. The short was largely disliked for its imagery by the general public, and due to this, it began to only air after 9 pm and was eventually removed from airing entirely.[1] An edited, less offensive version is said to have aired around 1985-1986 without the controversial scene.[2]


In short, a couple walks out of a Safeway returning home from a grocery run. Their son, who is out with his friends, gets involved in an accident involving fireworks going off, leaving visible scars and injuries on his face. An ambulance arrives on the scene, hauling the child into the back of it with a stretcher, his face now bandaged up. While most of his friends stick around to help, one child is seen running away from the incident. The mother is then made aware of their son's activities and calls out his name. The narrator then goes on to state that while it is easy to blame the parents of the other children involved, that their child is nonetheless their responsibility.


The full version (as well as the cut version, more inexplicably) was considered to be publicly inaccessible and became a notable holy grail for PIF fans. Reginald Molehusband, owner of the "The Public Needs to Know" blog, hoped that Film Images would let him see it, but it wasn't until August 16th, 2014, when YouTuber AnimatronicPony uploaded a low-quality screencast of the short.[3] On November 5th of the same year, the British Film Institute sent the Lost Media Wiki the rare PIF in higher quality, which was then given to YouTuber Applemask for uploading.[4]


Fireworks Safety: Parents (Credit: BFI National Archive / Crown Copyright).