Tips for a Safe Guy Fawkes

Published: 31-Oct-2019

Guy Fawkes is coming up next week with fireworks going on sale from Saturday.

For many, it’s simply a good occasion to get together with friends, family and celebrate the coming of summer. For others, especially pets and livestock, it can cause some distress.

Please be mindful when letting off fireworks and consider the safety of the people with you, neighbours, their properties and nearby animals.

Here are some tips for keeping everyone - pets and all - safe this Guy Fawkes period.

Before letting fireworks off at home, consider attending a public display. They will often have more spectacular pyrotechnics and a higher level of safety than backyard celebrations.

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

  • Follow all instructions on fireworks, you may need a torch to read them.
  • Light them well away from things that could catch fire.
  • Be careful when drinking alcohol - booze & fireworks are a poor combination.
  • Only let adults light fireworks, keep children well back.
  • Have a hose and a bucket of cold water at the ready.
  • Do not attempt to relight fireworks that do not go off.
  • Never point fireworks towards another person.

Keep in mind, many pets and animals become highly distressed by fireworks. Below are the SPCA’s top tips for looking after our pets and animals:

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.

Enjoy yourselves this Guy Fawkes, but remember to take care around fireworks and consider your neighbours and animals.

More information

Safety with Fireworks – New Zealand Fire Service

Guy Fawkes and Animals - SPCA