Fire and Emergency is urging people to think carefully before using fireworks this Guy Fawkes.
Fire and Emergency Community Education Manager Adrian Nacey says the weather forecast for this Guy Fawkes weekend is mixed, making it all the more important for people to check the conditions before they light.
"We are concerned by the risk fireworks pose especially during windy, dry conditions.
"This time of year is often windy in many parts of New Zealand, and as summer approaches vegetation in some areas is drying out and becoming more flammable.
"Before lighting any fireworks people should always check first using www.checkitsalright.nz, click on fireworks and then check it's alright to light."
Adrian Nacey is encouraging people to attend public fireworks displays instead of lighting their own.
But should people want to light their own fireworks, then they should be very careful.
"Fireworks can, and do, cause fires and injuries to the public," Nacey says.
"If you choose to use fireworks, use them carefully. You can find guidance on how to lessen the risk of fire and injury when setting off fireworks at www.checkitsalright.nz.
"We know people buy fireworks at Guy Fawkes and store them away to light over the summer months - last year we had several fires caused over the New Year period from fireworks.
"We urge people not to stockpile fireworks this Guy Fawkes - particularly with the approaching El Nino weather conditions that could lead to hotter, drier and windier conditions in many parts of Aotearoa.
"There may also be restrictions on the use of fireworks in your area during summer, so it’s important to check if these have been put in place at www.checkitsalright.nz."
People should follow these simple tips for using fireworks safely:
- Don’t stockpile fireworks for use over the summer months.
- Before lighting any fireworks always check first using www.checkitsalright.nz, click on fireworks and then check it's alright to light.
- Check local bylaws for the rules around using fireworks in your area.
- Make sure you have a safe set up when lighting fireworks, this means:
o Lighting them in a wide-open space, away from anything that could catch fire.
o Having a large bucket of water or hose at hand.
o Ensuring your fireworks are pointed at the sky and won’t end up in anything that can catch fire including buildings or vegetation.
o Being a good neighbour. Let people know around you if you’re planning to set fireworks off, especially those with pets and livestock.
o Disposing of your fireworks safely - soak them in water before you throw them out.
You can watch the following video about the damage fireworks can cause when they are not used in a safe manner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_o23_qUj88