Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Guy Fawkes: Should fireworks be banned from public sale?

Post Thumbnail

‘Remember remember the 5th of November’ goes the old saying to remind us it’s Guy Fawkes season. But should fireworks be banned from public sale? Michael Alexander reports.

Bonfires blazing, sparklers sparkling and fireworks exploding into the night sky.

It’s that time of year again when thousands of folk don their winter woollies and head out to celebrate Guy Fawkes night – often attending organised displays.

The annual tradition is staged to commemorate the foiling of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot when Guy Fawkes and fellow plotters planned to blow up the House of Lords.

But given the nuisance and safety issues that surround the lighting of fireworks every year, is it time for fireworks to be banned from public sale?

Angus show horse owner Kelsey Logan, 28, from Edzell, thinks so. One of her animal’s escaped serious injury last year after being spooked by fireworks and running into an electric fence.

Fireworks were set off without warning in the early hours about half a mile from where the self-employed animal services business owner’s horses were sleeping.

Two-year-old show horse Hero was left with a gashed leg after getting caught in the fence and was described as a “very, very lucky boy” – going on to win his class at the Royal Highland Show this year.

Kelsey Logan with her horse Hero who was injured after being scared by a firework in 2017

Kelsey, who faced a £300 vets bill, said: “Fireworks should be completely banned for sale and use to the general public.

“I think only organised events that are broadcasted and advertised should be allowed. “This gives animal owners plenty warning to be able to watch over their animals and take appropriate measures to prevent accidents.”

Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn would also like to see the sale of fireworks banned to the public.

He said current regulations are so relaxed that fireworks can be set off on any given day and for weeks and months on end rather than being limited to the major festival periods.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn.

“This leaves pet owners and farmers unable to make adequate provisions for their animals,” he said.

Warning as pupils seen throwing fireworks at other children in Dundee

“We have been made aware of numerous incidents over the years where animals have come to serious harm and even death as a result of fireworks being set off near them.

“Animals have heightened senses and their hearing is much stronger than ours.”

Ena Conyon, who runs Second Chance Kennels in Thornton, near Kirkcaldy, would also like to see them banned.

Frank and Ena Conyon of Second Chance Kennels, Thornton.

She gets angry about the impact on domestic animals and wildlife. An alternative to a ban, she suggested, would be to have “silent” fireworks like those recently introduced in the Italian town of Collechio in the province of Parma.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service figures show that more often than not it’s children rather than adults who are injured by fireworks.

Over the past five years over 350 pre-school children, some as young as one-year-old, were treated in hospital for firework injuries.

Children’s scars may heal but the trauma for them and their parents can last for years.

A selection of various home fireworks

However, the fire service stops short of calling for an outright ban – realising that fireworks also bring a lot of fun. Instead, it advises people to stay safe and always follow the fireworks code.

Even better, it recommends people attend organised displays where they will likely stay safer, get a better show and save money.

That’s a view shared by Hugh Ironside, captain of Cupar Golf Club, which is hosting an organised display at its golf course on Sunday evening.

Hugh said: “Firework displays are an important part of our heritage and annual entertainments calendar.  They do have to be used responsibly and sensibly.

Beautiful colours lit up the sky above Cupar in 2016

“This doesn’t mean that they should be withdrawn from sale to the public. The public are on the whole sensible and high profile awareness campaigns each year warning about the dangers of fireworks make people think about the use.”

The British Fireworks Association, which represents the part of the industry which sells fireworks to the general public, said laws and regulations have been considerably tightened over the last 20 years – and welcomed by the industry.

It says fireworks are safe if used in accordance with the instructions printed on every firework – adding that firework injuries are at an all-time low.

The association’s position is “ban the hooligan not the firework.”

Carnoustie fireworks

However, the industry has urged enforcement agencies to use the law and powers they already have to crack down on the “misuse” of fireworks.

The call comes after reports of police and trading standard officers failing to take action in some parts of the UK after witnessing illegal behaviour.

Steve Newham, Chairman of the British Fireworks Association – the body representing over 95% of the industry which sells fireworks to the public – stresses that calls for a tightening of the law, or an all-out ban, is not the answer to anti-social behaviour.

Mr Newham added: “It is no good calling for a ban which the enforcement agencies won’t be able to enforce.

“Officers should use the powers they already have and let the law abiding public enjoy their fireworks.

“We will continue to work with the Police and others to stamp out illegal fireworks and firework hooliganism.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]