People looking forward to celebrating Bonfire Night this year are being asked to consider reducing the impact of fireworks to avoid scaring animals and vulnerable residents.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is highlighting the RSPCA’s concerns about the effect of fireworks on animals and is raising awareness of its campaign #BangOutOfOrder, which aims to minimise the effects of fireworks on animal welfare.
Unpredictable, loud noises can cause fear and distress to animals and debris from fireworks can also pose a hazard to horses and livestock when left on the ground.
Fireworks can also affect older people, children with autism and people with conditions such as PTSD.
The Council passed a motion in 2021 that recommends that all public firework displays within the area are advertised in advance so that people can take precautions for themselves and their animals.
As a result of the motion, the Council is raising awareness of the impact of fireworks on animals and people and is asking residents to choose less noisy fireworks when buying ahead of Bonfire Night.
The Council also resolved to write to the Local Government Association to lobby for a limit to the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays.
The Council’s trading standards team is also advising retailers of the risks by sharing information when they inspect premises that sell fireworks.
Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Planning and Licensing, said: “We are not trying to spoil anyone’s fun, but the fear and distress that fireworks can cause for people and animals is a significant concern. The RSPCA believes there is a real need to raise awareness among owners of animals about phobia of fireworks and as a Council we wholeheartedly support this. We are also pressing the Government to better regulate fireworks by limiting the noise level for those used in public displays to 90dB.
“It’s also not to be underestimated how much anxiety fireworks can cause for vulnerable people in our community who are sensitive to loud and unexpected sounds. If you are buying fireworks, please consider the type that are designed to be less noisy.”