Topic: Environment

Staying safe this Guy Fawkes

With Guy Fawkes fast approaching, caution has been raised for people using and storing fireworks.  The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) released a statement today warning the public to take care.

Fireworks will be on sale for four days next week between 2-5 November at various locations across the country, and will only be sold to people aged 18 years and over.

Sparklers cannot be sold individually and can only be sold as part of a retail fireworks package.

Here's a few tips (from EPA) to keep your whānau safe around fireworks:

• Before you light any fireworks, read the instructions on the back of its packaging using a torch (not a naked flame)
• Light your fireworks in a wide-open area.  Keep away from anything that could catch fire, including unlit fireworks
• Always have an adult light the fireworks, not a child
• Keep a bucket of water or a hose handy
• Leave dud fireworks alone.  Trying to relight them is dangerous
• Stay sober while lighting fireworks.  Fireworks and alcohol or drugs are a dangerous combination
• Keep all unlit fireworks in their box or bag until you are ready to light them.

If in the event you or someone is burned while using fireworks, be sure to treat the burn under cold water for up to 20 minutes.  If the burn is serious, call an ambulance (111).

Avoid storing fireworks in your home.  They are explosives, so need to be stored very carefully.

The EPA, Worksafe, New Zealand Fire Service and the New Zealand Police are encouraging people to stay safe this Guy Fawkes.  For more information, check out the EPA website.