Safety Tips for Guy Fawkes

Published: 02-Nov-2018

Guy Fawkes is coming up this Monday and with fireworks on sale from today we want to remind you that while we might like to get together with friends for a backyard display, fireworks can also cause distress for neighbours, pets and livestock.

So here’s some tips for keeping everyone, including animals, safe during the Guy Fawkes period.

Before letting fireworks off in your back yard, consider attending a public display as these often have more spectacular pyrotechnics and have a higher level of safety than home celebrations.

If you do decide to have a backyard display, it’s important to follow these Fire Service safety guidelines:

  • Don’t light fireworks in windy or dry conditions.
  • Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using any fireworks.
  • Light your fireworks in a wide-open area, away from anything that could catch fire, like dry grass, leaves or crops, or flammable gases or liquids.
  • Keep a bucket of water, hose or fire extinguisher handy.
  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Keep all unlit fireworks in their box or bag until you’re ready to light them.
  • Point fireworks at the stars, not at people or anyone’s home.
  • Leave dud or damaged fireworks alone.
  • Do not use fireworks after 10.30pm, and try to let your neighbours know in advance.
  • If you're in a rural area, make sure you do not set off fireworks around farm animals.
  • If you do get burned, hold your burn under cold running water for 20 minutes.
  • Be careful when drinking alcohol - booze & fireworks are a poor combination.

Many pets and animals become highly distressed by fireworks and below are the SPCA’s top tips for looking after our furry friends:

Never let fireworks off close to animals.

  • Think about staying home to reassure and comfort your pets; they will be much less stressed with someone they trust close by. Alternatively, find a reliable person who will stay with your pets and look after them. Exterior doors and windows should be secured to prevent your pets escaping and running away. Interior doors and curtains/blinds should be closed as this will help muffle the sound of fireworks and prevent your pets being startled by the lights.
  • It is a good idea to switch on the radio, television or stereo to distract your pets from the sound of fireworks.
  • Take special care of an elderly or nervous animal - speak to your veterinarian before Guy Fawkes about whether calming medication would be suitable.
  • Make sure your pet is either microchipped, or has a collar on with up to date contact details in case they are panicked by the fireworks and escape. This will help rescuers reunite you.
  • If you have small pets that live outdoors, don’t forget to partly cover cages/pens and aviaries with blankets for sound proofing.
  • Move horses and farm animals away from fireworks and make sure all fences are secure. Stable horses where possible.

If your dog goes missing, or you find a lost dog, call us on 0800 965 468 to talk to our Animal Control team. Owners of lost cats should contact SPCA Canterbury.  If you have any concerns about firework use in your area please contact FENZ

This Guy Fawkes, enjoy yourselves, but please take care around fireworks and consider your neighbours and animals.

More information

Guy Fawkes and Animals