Twenty things you never knew about Fireworks

1. The first fireworks were probably made in China, around 2,000 years ago.

2. Over 130 million fireworks were sold in Britain in 1995.

3. In the Far East, fireworks have been used at religious ceremonies for centuries.

4. Last year over 900 people required hospital treatment from accidents involving fireworks.

5. The word for firework in Japanese, 'hanabi', means 'fire-flower'.

6. The display in London at the 1995 VJ Day commemoration was Britain's biggest within living memory. It used over 18 tonnes of fireworks and spanned two miles.

7. Italy and France were the first European countries to have fireworks, in the 1300s.

8. At family back-garden displays, sparklers cause more injuries than air-bombs, bangers, rockets and roman candles combined.

9. The first recorded use of fireworks in Britain was at the wedding of Henry VII in 1486.

10. Half of all firework accidents happen to children under the age fo 16.

11. The first fireworks recorded in America were set off by an Englishman, Captain John Smith, famous in the story of Pocahontas.

12. More than 60 under 5s went to hospital in 1997 following a firework accident.

13. Coloured fireworks didn't exist until the 1800s.

14. Three sparklers burning together generate the same heat as a blow-torch.

15. The world's largest single firework was set off at a festival in Japan in 1988. The shell weighed over half a tonne and the burst was over a kilometre across.

16. Hands and eyes are most at risk in firework accidents.

17. A firecracker display in Malaysia in 1988 used over 3 million crackers, measured almost 6 kilometres and burned for over 9 hours - the longest display on record.

18. There is a British Safety Standard for fireworks: BS 7114.

19. Most firework accidents are caused at family back-garden displays closely followed by incidents in the street.

20. Throwing a firework in a street or public place is a criminal offence, with a maximum fine of £5000.