What People Are Saying About Fireworks

The current legislation is clearly not fit for purpose, and there must be a comprehensive and urgent review, which should include the availability of over the counter fireworks.”
John Apter, The national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW)

The time is overdue for Parliament to look seriously at what is happening more frequently on Bonfire Night. We have to offer better protection for residents and emergency service workers by tightening up the regulations around fireworks. They are meant to give pleasure. But too often now they have become weapons of terror on the streets, needlessly putting officers in harm’s way.”
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police & Crime Commisssioner

“I would actually make sure the only people that could use them (fireworks) were in organised firework displays. I would ban them from general sale”
 Jonathan Evison, Humberside Police & Crime Commissioner

I would ban fireworks “given half a chance” … “it’s only a matter of time before somebody gets killed” and that “cannot happen”
Stephen Watson, Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police

I would ban fireworks if it was in my gift … I might be accused of spoiling people’s fun but it is not fun and if you were in Accident and Emergency when kids are brought in with severe burns it would change people’s opinions on it
Steve Gourlay, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service Area Commander

It’s not just the noise, it’s the effect on pets and vulnerable people and it adds to the sense of being under fire in your own home or neighbourhood. I think we need to look again at the regulatory framework around the purchase of fireworks.”
Nick Forbes, vice chairman Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority

I think it’s probably necessary for the Fire Authority and councillors to have a wider debate around whether fireworks should be sold at all to the local community
Ben Ryder, group manager at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service

“A home firework display impacts significantly on your safety, your community, your neighbours, and animals and the environment. Fireworks are explosives and can cause horrendous injuries such as serious burns, blindness or deafness to you or family members. Home displays risk placing an unnecessary strain on our NHS and Emergency Services if things go wrong.”
Steve Johnson, senior head of prevention and engagement, Cleveland Fire Brigade

We see a higher rate of distress in veterans accessing our services at this time of year. Not only is this time of year challenging because of the grief surrounding Armistice, but the sound and sudden unexpected bangs of fireworks can be reminders of frontline combat where they were exposed to the horrors of war in service to this country”
Catherine Kinance, Medical Director, Combat Stress

Bonfire night is a fun, exciting occasion that brings joy to people across the UK – but for some of the 1 in 100 people who are autistic, fireworks can be anything but fun.”

At 120dB, the safe exposure limit is less than 10 seconds, so setting off a few fireworks over the course of an evening in your garden could indeed cause hearing damage or trigger tinnitus.”

We feared this was going to be a bad year for more serious burns injuries, serious incidents, attacks on firefighters and police and distress to animals, and we got a full house … There is a real ­opportunity to make a legislative difference if we seize the opportunity and there is support in both the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament
Burns and plastic surgery registrar Eleanor Robertson

The feedback is A&E units across Scotland have been busier. Feedback from ­colleagues in the east of Scotland reveals a patient with a serious facial injury caused by fireworks. In our plastic surgery unit we have recently treated patients, one with life-changing injuries to their hand and another with serious arm burns. It is important to seek a way to ban the sale of fireworks to the public.”
Senior plastic ­surgeon David McGill, Scottish Burns Network clinical lead

“We talk about blast injuries and severe burns because fireworks are explosives, that’s how they work and that’s how they do the damage – they heat up and they blow up. Even sparklers can cause horrendous injuries. The devastating consequences of damage from a firework can lead to multiple surgeries over many hours and result in lifelong implications for the function, appearance and the psychology of living with the scars and injuries can be profound … the injuries can be devastating and life-changing. I have operated on people who have suffered so much damage from an exploding firework that they’ve lost some or all of their hand, people lose fingers and suffer serious burns.”
Alastair Brown, Consultant plastic surgeon

Welcome news that regulations to restrict both the sale of fireworks & the times when they can be set off by the general public will be introduced for Scottish Parliament to consider
Ronnie Cowan MP

The loud and high-pitched noises from fireworks can be extremely traumatic for animals, and vets see first-hand the impact of firework-related distress at this time of the year. BVA has long supported calls for overhauling the current controls on the use and sale of fireworks, which we feel don’t go far enough to protect the health and welfare of animals in Scotland and across the UK.”

“Fireworks are extremely stressful and frightening for lots of animals. But they can also cause very serious injury and even death to some. It can be particularly dangerous for horses and livestock who can be spooked by the loud bangs and bright flashes of light, putting them at risk of injuring themselves on fencing, farm equipment or fixtures and fittings within their housing. Wildlife can also be seriously impacted … some birds will flee their nests or whole colonies can disappear due to noise disturbance.”
Dr Mark Kennedy, RSPCA animal welfare expert

We are in support of fireworks use being restricted to licensed events only, with the licences provided by the local authority. This would allow for local councils to hold a central list of when and where fireworks displays are taking place, which dog owners are able to consider and prepare for.”
Kennel Club

we are asking people to think about our pets this New Year’s Eve and resist the temptation to set off loud fireworks, which terrify our four-legged friends
Chris Burghes, Chief Executive, BLUE CROSS

“The dangers fireworks pose to pets, livestock and wildlife is no secret. Every year in our emergency clinics, we see the heart-breaking reality of seemingly-harmless fireworks displays — pets burnt or hit by cars after being spooked, others bolting and going missing, sometimes never to return, self-inflicted, life-changing injuries caused in a moment of panic, and, sadly, also deliberate, malicious firework injuries. The country’s wildlife and livestock will also be traumatised, as they are every year. That’s not to mention the terrible impact fireworks, and the cocktail of chemicals they contain, have on the environment.”
Dave Leicester, Head of Clinical Intelligence, VETS NOW

Fireworks contain nonbiodegradable plastics that, following a firework being launched, are dispersed over large areas before returning to the ground. This results in the wide scattering of plastic debris, polluting the environment and harming wildlife that mistake the plastic as food. This littered plastic can persist in the environment for a very long time and is often lightweight, so even if it is inland, can be easily transported by wind and rain, down drains, into local waterways, ultimately ending up in the sea. Over time, this plastic will fragment into smaller pieces of microplastics that are very difficult to remove from both land and marine environments, and can be mistaken as food by sea life.”
Carla Roberts-Owen, Litter Free Dorset