National Council on Fireworks Safety Offers Tips for Responsible New Year’s Celebrations
Nancy Blogin, President of the National Council on Fireworks Safety (www.fireworkssafety.org), notes: “Each New Year’s Eve, consumers are injured because their judgment has been impaired by beer, wine, or other alcoholic drink. Do not use fireworks after drinking any quantity of alcohol.”
Blogin also implores consumers to not use illegal explosives or professional fireworks. In 2015, she noted that there were serious injuries caused by consumers using illegal explosives and/or professional fireworks. Blogin cautions consumers to only purchase legal consumer fireworks from authorized stores or stands, and to never buy fireworks from individuals, or from vendors in back alleys or operating out of their house.
Blogin also challenges consumers to make a New Year’s resolution to educate themselves on the safe and responsible use of consumer fireworks and cites the following Safety Tips:
• Only use fireworks outdoors free of overhead obstructions and away from dry grass or other flammable materials.
• Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
• Never give fireworks to young children.
• Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
• Always have a bucket of water, and charged water hose, nearby.
• Dispose of spent product by wetting it down and place it in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until morning.
ALCOHOL AND FIREWORKS DON’T MIX!
See all of our Safety Tips at www.FireworksSafety.org
Fireworks frighten animals, help them feel safe
Keeping cats and dogs secure
- Make sure your dog or cat always has somewhere to hide if they want to and has access to this place at all times. For example, this may be under some furniture or in a cupboard.
- Make sure your cat or dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise. Have your pets microchipped in case they do escape – by law, your dog should already be microchipped.
- During fireworks seasons, walk dogs during daylight hours and keep cats and dogs indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off.
- At nightfall, close windows and curtains and put on music to mask and muffle the sound of fireworks.
- Never punish your pets when they are scared as this will only make things worse in the long run.
When the fireworks start
- Close any windows and black out the ‘doggy play area’ to remove any extra problems caused by flashing lights.
- Each evening before the fireworks begin, move your dog to the play area and provide toys and other things that they enjoy.
- Make sure that there are things for you to do too so that your dog isn’t left alone.
- Ignore the firework noises yourself. Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don’t force them to play.
Don’t forget small animals
- If your pets live outside, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well soundproofed. Make sure that your pets are still able to look out.
- Provide lots of extra bedding so your pets have something to burrow in.
- Consider bringing them indoors. This should be done gradually, so you will need to plan ahead.
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