Firework season is just around the corner and while most people use them responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause serious distress, particularly to many service veterans and animals.
Combat Stress, the organisation concerned with veterans’ mental health would like to see a ban on noisy fireworks because many experience distress due to sudden flashes and bangs reminding them of the horrors of war.
Legislation covers the sale, possession and use of fireworks and since January 2005 their sale to the public is prohibited, except from licensed traders. However, fireworks can be sold by unlicensed traders for:
- Chinese New Year and the preceding 3 days
- Diwali and the proceeding 3 days
- Bonfire Night celebrations on 15 October to 10 November
- New Year celebrations from 26 to 31 December
There are curfews around all of these events to prevent the prolonged use of fireworks.
If you’re holding a firework party at home, always follow The Firework Code:
- Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm, or 12pm on 5 November
- Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time
- Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
- Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
- Never return to a firework once it has been lit
- Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
- Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
- Don’t build bonfires, they can spread out of control very quickly
- Always supervise children around firework
If you’re a pub, charity, church or other community group planning a firework event the HSE website has valuable information for operating a safe event.
- Site the bonfire well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs
- Never leave the bonfire burning unattended
- Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side
- NEVER use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire
- Don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols, tins of paint and bottles
- Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children, who must be supervised at all times
- Pour water on the embers before leaving
Keep up to date
Keep in touch with our latest news, service updates and reports.