Safety and care urged as fireworks night approaches

Published date

Harlow Council and the Safer Harlow Partnership are urging residents to keep safe this bonfire and fireworks night.

With there being no free Harlow fireworks display this year in the Town Park the council and the partnership are calling for residents to follow Essex Fire and Rescue Service’s fireworks safety campaign - show some respect this fireworks night. 

This year local emergency services are preparing for a busier night than usual as people celebrate in their own gardens. The fire service’s campaign is asking people to respect the firework, respect the emergency services and respect neighbours.

Residents who choose to have a display at home should follow the Firework Code and also the current high alert COVID rules and restrictions around social contact.

The fire service’s advice is that residents planning to let off fireworks should tell their neighbours first and avoid purchasing really noisy ones. 

The full advice can be read on the Essex Fire and Rescue Service website.

Councillor Chris Vince, portfolio holder for community wellbeing, said:

“A large organised public display with licensed professionals is one of the safest ways to enjoy fireworks, but due to the pandemic we are unable to hold our event this year and many more displays will be cancelled. At the end of the day, fireworks are explosives so can be dangerous and can cause serious injury in the wrong hands. Fireworks should be treated with respect and care and those using them should always follow the Firework Code.  We must also show respect to our hard working front line workers at the hospital, the ambulance service, the fire and police service by not putting additional pressure on them at an already demanding time.

If you are thinking of having fireworks at home, listen to the fire service’s advice, think about the impact on your neighbours, pets and other animals near your home and always follow the Firework Code.”

The Firework Code 

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm (12pm on 5 Nov).
  • Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time.
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary. 
  • Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back. 
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks. 
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit. 
  • Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them. 
  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators. 
  • Don't build bonfires, they can spread out of control very quickly.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks.

Keeping pets safe

Fireworks can also cause a great deal of distress to animals. Advice on keeping pets and animal safe can be found on the RSPCA’s website.

Fireworks and the law 

  • If it against the law to set off fireworks during 11pm and 7am. Exceptions to this are bonfire night (7am until midnight) and New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year (7am to 1am the following day).
  • Unless part of an organised event by licensed professionals, fireworks cannot be used on the street or in a public place.
  • It’s an offence to throw or set off any firework (including sparklers and category 1 fireworks) in or into any highway, street, thoroughfare or public space.

High level COVID restrictions

Harlow is currently in the high COVID alert level. This means there are restrictions are social contact which must be followed if you are planning gatherings at home.

Reporting issues

If you’re experiencing nuisance noise from a neighbour regularly setting off fireworks on their property between the hours of 7am to 11pm report it to us 

If you are experiencing a one-off, prolonged night of disturbance caused by illegal firework use, you can report this online to Essex Police

If you’ve witnessed fireworks being used in a dangerous manner, such as near a road, in a crowded area, or by under-18s, and you feel they could cause harm to members of the public, call 999.