Not my party

The pandemic has put paid to any organised fireworks displays this year so Bath & North East Somerset Council is encouraging anyone planning to have them at home to follow the firework code, as well as the rule of six and hands, face, space.

Personally – as a pet owner – l hate the things but – according to the Council – please bear in mind if you are going to have them – when seeing friends and family you do not live with or who are not part of your bubble, you must not meet in a group of more than six, indoors or outdoors. This includes children of any age.

Adults wishing to buy fireworks for home displays are advised to do so from licensed sellers and only let them off between the times allowed by law of 7am and 11pm, apart from November 5 when it is permitted until midnight.

(Editor’s note: Why isn’t it just November 5th? Why can’t they make them without the bangs? Isn’t the whole Guy Fawkes thing just so yesterday?)

The welfare of pets and wild animals should also be protected as unpredictable, loud noises can frighten animals and cause them to injure themselves as they try to get away from the noise. Debris produced by fireworks can also pose a hazard to horses and farm animals.

Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “Although we are living our lives under coronavirus restrictions, it’s still possible to enjoy Bonfire Night safely. Any gatherings should stick to the rule of six and follow hands, face, space. It’s all too easy to let social distancing slide as the evening goes on. Keep it small, keep it safe.

“Of course it’s vital to follow the firework code as well. Don’t forget that fireworks can lead to serious injury and their possible effects should never be underestimated. Only buy fireworks from licensed sellers, read the warning labels and keep children and pets safe – fireworks can cause animals significant distress and injury. If you’re lighting a bonfire, never use flammable liquids to get it started and make sure the fire is well clear of buildings, sheds, fences and hedges. Please keep yourself and others safe this Bonfire Night.”

Read Avon Fire & Rescue’s firework and bonfire safety advice here

Click here to read the RSPCA’s briefing on fireworks and animal welfare.

People can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90. Find out more about firework laws here

Visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest coronavirus guidance for your area.