Why worry about fireworks?
- Air pollution
- Avoid Firework Nuisance
- Fireworks and Animals
- Contact us
- Fireworks sale and storage licence - see our Explosives page
Fireworks can frighten people and animals. In particular, children and the elderly can be intimidated and scared by firework noise.
The bright colours and effects in fireworks are produced by a mixture of chemicals. Fireworks emit light, heat and sound energy along with carbon dioxide and other gases and residues. The exact emissions will depend on the firework, but as gunpowder is a main component sulphur compounds are emitted along with small amounts of particulates, metal oxides and organic compounds (including minute amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins and furans). On and around Guy Fawkes Night (5 November), there is often a noticeable increase in pollution.
Fireworks are explosives and must be used with caution. For information on firework safety, please visit the Fireworks Safety Page on the Health and Safety Executive website (external link).
Fireworks add excitement to celebrations and are enjoyed by many. Large organised displays are used to celebrate state occasions, sporting events and also for family celebrations. Fireworks don't have to be ear splitting to be fun. We can enjoy them in safety, without causing annoyance to our neighbours and their pets and livestock or to wildlife. If you have your own firework display, remember that too much noise can frighten people and animals and that fireworks cause smoke and pollution. Follow these simple guidelines to reduce the risk of nuisance:
- Give neighbours a few days notice of your display - particularly important if they are elderly, have children or pets
- Use appropriate fireworks - when buying fireworks, try to avoid really noisy ones. Your supplier should be able to tell you what they are selling
- Make sure pets and other animals are safely away from fireworks
- Consider timing. If you are using fireworks for a celebration, a Friday or Saturday is preferable, and make sure they finish by 11pm
- Avoid letting off fireworks in unsuitable weather - if it is still and misty or air quality is poor pollution could be a problem. Check air quality on 0800 556677 or on the Air Quality website (external link)
- Let off your fireworks in an open garden area - noise bounces off buildings and smoke and pollution can build up in enclosed spaces
- If a neighbour complains that you are disturbing them, their pets or livestock, be considerate
- After your display, clear up firework fallout and dispose of it safely
The Blue Cross, Britain's pet charity (external link) is offering advice and support to pet owners whose animals are terrified by the bangs and flashes caused by fireworks.
Write to us at:
- ASB Enforcement Team
Level 1 - River Park House
225 High Road
- Tel 020 8489 1335
- Out of Hours 020 8489 0000
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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