It’s Time for Peace, Quiet & Consideration – and for the Government to Listen
We are delighted to announce that the petition demanding the Government change regulations to restrict the use of fireworks, now has over 1 million signatures! That is a lot of people that, despite the Government repeatedly saying they think the regulations are tight enough, are saying, frankly, NO THEY ARE NOT. People are fighting for Peace Rights! In an era of mass production and easy access to low cost fireworks from China, regulations need to be updated to restrict their usage – which just grows year on year. Being allowed to be set off any day of the year until 11pm and some days until 1am is a breach of the peace, fireworks are a nuisance and they are cruel to animals and humans. Furthermore in a time of climate emergency, fireworks damage the environment. 1 million said it in this petition, plus over 100,000 signed 6 petitions that led to 5 debates in parliament in recent years. And these are just the signatures gained from social media. It doesn’t include the many-fold that are not on social media but who agree with the cause.
A million people are saying that it’s NOT OK for a few people to be able to disturb the peace of many – including pets and wildlife whose hearing is even more sensitive and 50% of whom are caused a lot of distress, anxiety and in some cases, death when fireworks go off. It’s heartbreaking for owners to experience this and the RSPCA has received thousands of reports of fireworks incidents as it calls for changes to be made to reduce the impact on animals. Additionally, the fact that this happens has a substantial impact on their rights – their rights to leave the house after dark and feel happy there won’t be anti-social bangs going off that will cause their pets distress. Most pet owners have to stay in on New Year’s eve, around fireworks – and sadly this period has been extending to include Christmas and the whole season from Christmas to New Year. Their right to walk their dog after dark, which is 4pm onwards in winter months. Many simply can’t go out because fireworks can go off any day of the year. And there is a huge amount of concern around the impact of fireworks on our air and the environment, as chemicals and toxins race into the air. We are all too aware after COP26 of the importance of living in harmony with nature, not against it.
Additionally, many, many people have simply had enough of the on-going, relentless nature of fireworks. People want to be able to feel peace in their home and yet even this has been denied many over Christmas and New Year. The writer of this blog personally logged fireworks for 8 out of 9 days from Christmas Day 2021 onwards and was woken 3 of those nights. Furthermore, many people have anxiety caused by them. 1 in 10 people in the UK develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to PTSD UK. So in a small to medium town of 20,000 people, that is 2,000 people. Each bang can take them back to the trauma they initially experienced and make them anxious and extremely agitated, sometimes reduced to tears. Here is an example from our blog on how fireworks affect sufferers of PTSD where the wife of a war veteran explains how fireworks affect her husband:
“My husband is a war veteran. He served in the Welsh Guards for 22 years and sustained life-changing injuries in the Falklands War. He actually died on the runway at Port Stanley airstrip. He received CPR from a colleague and thankfully he was resuscitated, but because of the lack of oxygen to his brain, he has brain injury and back problems and lost his leg below the knee. Part of his left foot was also blown away. This happened when a harrier jet accidentally fired the sidewinder missiles it was carrying. So as you can imagine, loud bangs affect him. He becomes very agitated and shaking, breaks out in a cold clammy sweat and is reduced to tears. It’s pitiful to see a grown strong man reduced to tears due to the noise of fireworks. We put the television on very loud, but I can see by his face it really gets to him. When these fireworks are going off all the time, it is terrible to watch him. I really think they should be banned on the street and only used in an organised event.”
Some people have hyperacusis and loud sounds such as fireworks are actually painful for them. Some people with dementia suffer confusion at the sounds. And too many emergency services staff know the accidents that happen and the increased demand on them due to fireworks – as well as the anti-social use of fireworks being used as weapons, put through letterboxes and pointed at police and others.
So, we say to the Government, listen to the people. Respect them. They are not stupid. They know you give the same answers every year and aren’t taking them seriously. And it will impact their decisions of how they view you and vote for you. This is a democracy and far more laws have been passed to protect far smaller numbers than 1 million. And they won’t go away. The situation worsens every year. And as was clear in the debate in parliament in November 2021 many, many people wrote to their MPs explaining why they wanted change – from people whose babies were woken and scared, to people having had them put through their letter boxes, to others with pets who are scared or wounded, to others suffering from PTSD and very distressed each time one goes off.
To people who want change, we say don’t give up. The suffragettes fought for years/decades for change. Keep signing and sharing petitions, write to your MP, write to your local council, share blogs like these so that more people know others share their views.
- Sign and share petitions
- Share this blog in every group you are in on social media and in emails – particularly those not related to fireworks, to reach new audiences
- There have been 5 debates, 6 petitions with over 100,000 signatures each, a Petitions Committee inquiry and the Government needs to listen. Now is the time to write to your MP and ask them to push the Government to take drastic action. Reduce the number of days to just a handful a year and ban the sale to the public.
- Write to your councils asking them to change what they allow. You can use the RSPCA template
- Ask your friends and neighbours not to let fireworks off or if they insist to at least use low noise fireworks which are available from most firework suppliers
- Read more blogs on the impact of fireworks and share these too: Environmental impact, impact on war veterans and sufferers of PTSD and on assistance dogs, how even Christmas is no longer a time of peace why fireworks are a nuisance and the law should change.
We can all make a difference. Each person continuing to share and spreading the word, writing to their MP, every signature. Every one counts. DON’T GIVE UP.