Be considerate when using fireworks

Fireworks are used by people throughout the year to mark different events. While they can bring much enjoyment, they can also cause significant problems for people and animals.

For many animals (including pet animals, farm livestock and wildlife), they can be a source of fear and distress. Animals affected not only suffer psychological distress but can also cause themselves injuries – sometimes very serious ones – as they attempt to run away or hide from the noise. Studies have even shown that fireworks are the most common cause for fear responses in dogs.

Fireworks can also cause distress to people with autism, sensory disorders, PTSD and other mental health conditions who are sensitive to noise and light. The elderly and young children can also find them startling and upsetting.

Steps you should take before using fireworks 

Before using fireworks you should:

  • Tell your neighbours about your plans so that they can make arrangements for vulnerable people and pets that might be afraid. 
  • Consider buying less noisy fireworks. Your supplier should be able to tell you the types of firework they are selling. 
  • Only buy fireworks from licensed sellers – fireworks should have the product safety marking BS7114 or equivalent and carry a ‘CE’ mark. Avoid buying fireworks from “unofficial” venues like pub car parks, markets, social media outlets or car boot sales – these fireworks may be excessively noisy, of poor quality or may even be dangerous.
  • Consider timing – stick to celebration dates where possible, such as Fireworks Night, Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year.
  • Remember that fireworks cannot be let off between 11pm and 7am except on Bonfire Night (when the curfew is midnight) and New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am. These curfews are legal regulations and are enforced by the police.
  • Make sure you let off your fireworks in an open garden area - noise bounces off buildings and smoke and pollution can build up in enclosed spaces.
  • Keep your pets safe by keeping them inside. For any small animals that live outside give them material and bedding to burrow in.
  • Read all the safety warnings on the box of fireworks before you use them. If you don’t understand the instructions, don’t use the firework.