Safety first on Guy Fawkes

The turn of the month has brought with it Guy Fawkes celebrations and with the weekend pending, the skies are bound to be lit up even brighter by displays and celebrations happening everywhere.  Whether you choose to watch an organised display or host one of your own, it’s important to put safety first.

Graeme Duncan, Area Manager of AMI Tasman, has some safety tips: “The best advice I’ve heard is from the NZ fire service who encourage communities in general not to hold their own private displays, but instead rely on professionally-run displays for the public, which obviously go through the red-tape and meet safety requirements.

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“From a property owner’s perspective, hot embers can often land on metal roofs piercing the protective coating.  Rust then ensues, leading to pin-hole leaks occurring much sooner than would otherwise be anticipated.  So anyone lighting fireworks that take-off in the air should respect their neighbours in this regard, and not leave them with a hidden legacy.  Then of course there’s the personal harm that can occur, and this is saddest when it occurs to the young and most vulnerable.”

Some more general advice:

  • Keep a hose or a bucket of water handy.
  • Keep pets inside and away from fireworks. The SPCA Canterbury has specific advice on how to take care of animals on and around Guy Fawkes. Click here for more information. 
  • Read carefully and follow the instructions provided on fireworks.
  • Make sure all fireworks are pointed away from bystanders, in particular children, and property.

Read more safety advice from the NZ fire service here.  Kiwi Families also has some tips on how to keep kids safe around fireworks along with information about the history of the festival.

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