Council pressing for quieter fireworks

North Kesteven District Council is taking action to urge households to be more considerate and retailers to use quieter fireworks this Bonfire Night.

Council officials want this Bonfire Night to go with a smaller bang

Following a hotly-debated motion passed in May, the council is pressing ahead with the plans and the promotion of a Considerate Fireworks Code.

Mark Stuart, public protection manager at NKDC said: “Over the years, fireworks have become louder and more easily accessible with displays and households continuing to let fireworks off throughout the winter. What used to be confined to Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve has, for many, become a continual noise nuisance.

“Many household pets are caused severe distress by loud noises; they can also injure themselves – sometimes seriously – as they attempt to run away or hide from the noise. Less well-known is the impact fireworks can have on farm animals and, increasingly, on people too.

“The loud bangs can cause people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to experience panic attacks and flashbacks – especially veterans of our armed forces. On top of this, people with autism spectrum disorders and hearing problems can also be negatively affected.”

With November 5 coming up, organisers of local displays are asked to share the details of events on a new web page, so residents who may be impacted can check and prepare accordingly. The simple form for organisers is available on the council website at n-kesteven.gov.uk/fireworks.

The council has contacted local retailers, requesting they consider stocking quieter fireworks of less than 90 decibels. A letter has also been sent to local MP, Dr Caroline Johnson, asking her to raise the issue in Parliament.

The council is asking residents to follow their Considerate Fireworks Code before using fireworks at home.

North Kesteven’s Considerate Fireworks Code is:

* Tell your neighbours about your plans so they can make arrangements for vulnerable people and pets that might be afraid.

* Consider buying less noisy fireworks. Your supplier should be able to tell you the types of firework they are selling.

* Only buy fireworks from licensed sellers – fireworks should carry a ‘CE’ or ‘UKCA’ mark.

* Consider timing – stick to celebration dates where possible, such as Fireworks Night, Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year.

* Remember that fireworks cannot be let off between 11pm and 7am except on Bonfire Night (when the curfew is midnight) and New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am. These curfews are legal regulations and are enforced by the police.

* Make sure you let off your fireworks in an open garden area – noise bounces off buildings – smoke and pollution can build up in enclosed spaces.

* Keep your pets safe by keeping them inside. For any small animals that live outside give them material and bedding to burrow in.

* Read and understand all the safety warnings on the box of fireworks before you use them.

* Let the council know if you are having an event and it will be listed on their website to inform residents - n-kesteven.gov.uk/fireworks.

l Local firework displays include:

Sleaford Rugby Club bonfire and fireworks extravaganza on Saturday, November 6. Gates open 4.30pm, fire lit at 5pm, display at 7.30pm. There is free on-site parking, marquee with bar, food stalls, funfair, live music by Keep The Faith. Admission on the gate, adults £6, children £4, family £15. Harmston Young Farmers Club will hold their display tonight (Wednesday) at 6pm with a live performance by Sleaford Concert Band.