4 Nov 2022

Fireworks safety a concern ahead of Guy Fawkes

8:26 am on 4 November 2022
A small firework is set off on a street.

ACC receive about 300 claims annually because of fireworks related injuries. Photo: 123rf

Concerns are being raised over the safety of fireworks ahead of Guy Fawkes this weekend.

Major retailer The Warehouse say this is the second year that they won't be selling fireworks.

They stopped pyrotechnic sales in May 2021, driven by customer research, which showed that there were clear concerns about people letting off fireworks at home.

Countdown supermarkets also stopped selling fireworks in 2019, because of what they cited as low customer demand.

The SPCA has taken the stance that sales of fireworks for private use should be completely banned in New Zealand.

Ben Lakomy, team leader for the SPCA's Wellington Inspectorate, said the harm caused by fireworks wasn't worth it.

He explained the SPCA receives dozens of complaints each year including pets running away because of fireworks, or injuring themselves after being frightened by them.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has also voiced its concern for the coming weekend.

Community education manager Adrian Nacey said there were a number of important factors, such as weather conditions, that went into being safe around Guy Fawkes.

"You just don't want to be the one responsible for damaging a person, property or the environment by not being careful with fireworks, it just takes a little preparation to have a safe and enjoyable display," he said.

ACC said they receive about 300 claims annually because of fireworks related injuries.

This year, they were asking Kiwis to think about the risks associated with lighting fireworks, and to use fireworks responsibly.

Yesterday, police confirmed that the blaze that ripped through Christchurch's Pegasus Bay was caused by fireworks being let off in the area.

They too encouraged people to be careful when lighting fireworks, ensuring they did so with all the necessary precautions in place.

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