A few things to ‘remember, remember’ on the fifth of November.
1. No pirate patches here!
Never be tempted to hold a firework while it’s going off - burns and misaimed-rocket disasters are far from cool. Any fireworks that you buy will have specific instructions for their use and safety. The best thing you can do to keep everyone safe is to follow those. Aside from what’s on the packaging, general rules include; keeping a safe distance, use the provided tools to anchor them to the ground or anchor them in a bucket of sand, and have all fireworks aiming straight up into a clear space – always away from the crowd.
Remember that NZ Fire & Emergency advise having water or a fire extinguisher on hand, just in case!
2. Clear skies ahead.
With luck on our side, it’ll be a nice dry evening on Guy Fawkes, but the sky isn’t the only thing you’ll want to have clear. When you’re setting up an area for fireworks, make sure there are no big trees, power lines or protruding roofs and washing lines in the firing line. All of these are fire hazards where gunpowder is concerned, so it’s best to check while it’s still light and you can see the best spot to set up the fireworks.
3. Who’s watching?
Whether you live in rural or urban areas, you’ll want to think about everyone who may or may not be enjoying the show.
First up, you’ve got neighbours who probably want a few winks of sleep. Just make sure the fun doesn’t last all night so that no one’s kept up ‘til all hours hearing ‘pop, bang, crack!’
And secondly, it's important to keep an eye on younger party members. It’ll be dark and all a bit exciting, so keep tabs on young ones to make sure they don’t wander into the path of a firework.
4. If things get hairy…
Then of course, there are our dear little furry friends. Pets can get really spooked by the fireworks, so keeping them as far from the noise as possible is ideal. If there’s someone who can stay inside with them during the fireworks - even better! That way you can avoid heading inside to terrified animals sprinting around the halls when you’re done. And if you live rurally, make sure you know what’s over the fence…you don’t want to cause havoc with the neighbour’s farm animals.
5. A sparkly warning.
Sparklers are pretty and quiet, which makes them a big tick where children, pets and neighbours are concerned. It’s still important to be safety conscious with these because, like all fireworks, they are a fire hazard too. Gloves are a good idea to protect little hands from stray sparks, and remember only adults should be in charge of lighting them. Having a bucket of water on hand for fizzled sparklers means there’s no more fire potential once you’re finished.
6. Bonfire fun.
If you’re going all out this Guy Fawkes with a bonfire, set up a few rules around what’s good and what’s not. First of all, bonfires are restricted in many areas and if allowed, need to be registered with the Fire and Emergency New Zealand. They also may require a permit. Check out what you need to do before you set anything alight here. Keeping a safe distance from bonfires is important, so using the fire to double as a barbecue is a no go. If a BBQ is on the menu, keep it separate from the fire to keep the cooking safe. It’s also important to set up any bonfires well out of the way of your house – paddocks and fields are ideal!