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EPA: Stay safe with fireworks this Guy Fawkes

With fireworks about to go on sale for four days (2 to 5 November), the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) wants your Guy Fawkes Night to be a blast for all the right reasons.
“The safest way for your family to get their dose of the festive lights, is to leave it to the professionals, and attend a local public fireworks display,” says Lizzie Wilson, spokesperson for the EPA Safer Homes Programme.

“However, if you do decide to set off your own fireworks at home, follow these tips to prevent becoming one of the 500 New Zealanders being hospitalised annually from hazardous substances.”

Fireworks safety tips:
• Read and follow the instructions on the fireworks' packaging. Remember to read the instructions with a torch – not a lighter or other flame.
• Wait until a calm evening – lighting fireworks in the wind can be dangerous.
• Light fireworks in an open area away from people, pets, buildings, trees and livestock.
• Keep a bucket of water, a hose, or a fire extinguisher handy.
• Only have adults light fireworks one at a time. Keep unlit fireworks in the bag or box they were bought in until you are ready to light them, and keep them well away from where they are being lit.
• Leave dud fireworks alone – trying to relight them can be dangerous.
• Stay sober. Fireworks and alcohol or drugs are a dangerous mix.
• Keep pets inside and be considerate of your neighbours.
And once your night is over, “It is best not to store fireworks in your home afterwards to avoid unnecessary risks to your family,” says Ms Wilson.

“Fireworks are explosives, and often it’s hard to know if stored fireworks will still be safe to use at a later date.”

Your local council may have rules around fireworks you must follow, such as whether you can let fireworks off in a public place.

For more tips visit www.epa.govt.nz/saferhomes or the EPA Safer Homes Facebook page.

© Scoop Media

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