Fireworks Safety

ONE of the traditional ways in which the New Year is ushered in here in Trinidad and Tobago is with fireworks displays. In communities across the country, at the stroke of midnight, the skies will light up with the colourful displays. If you are planning to celebrate the arrival of 2010 with fireworks, here are some rules to follow to ensure you do so safely:

* Always read and follow label directions.

* Have an adult present.

* Buy from reliable sellers.

* Use outdoors only.

* Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).

* Never experiment or make your own fireworks.

* Light only one firework at a time.

* Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).

* Never give fireworks to small children.

* If necessary, store fireworks in a cool, dry place.

* Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your garbage bin.

* Never throw or point fireworks at other people.

* Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

* Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

* The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.

* Stay away from illegal explosives.

courtesy of Newsday .... Safety rules for fireworks
Thursday, December 31 2009s,113418.html

Fireworks Safety for Pets

These safety tips should be followed to protect animals from fireworks.

o Consideration must be given to alternatives to massive firework displays such as laser light shows. More flash and less bang, please.

o The use of the loudest pyrotechnics should be banned completely.

o Displays of percussive fireworks should never be allowed in residential areas.

o Displays should be limited to specific areas and be kept short.

o Advance warning notices should be posted so that people with dogs and cats can take the necessary precautions.

In this age of technology surely we can create celebratory displays that are thrilling and joyful without endangering our ears, our dogs, cats and wildlife.


1. If you are unable to stay at home with your animal during fireworks, it would be wise to bring the animal indoors (if possible). Try to make them feel safe and comfortable in a secure room of the house and leave a radio on and some of their favourite things, or some old clothes with your scent on them.

2. Make sure you leave lots of water. Also, take your dog out for plenty of active exercise an hour before the fireworks start then home for a good filling meal. A tired and well fed dog will be far less anxious during the night.

3. If you cannot bring your pets inside, the TTSPCA advises that you house your dog in the garage and to block off any view of the fireworks. Ensure that your premises are secure. Dogs are known to bang on shaky gates to escape, or push through holes in the fence. Be creative in finding solutions to such problems.

4. Dogs who panic can choke themselves on a collar or lead, so never use a choker chain or slip collar to restrain your dog.

5. Do not leave your pet chained next to a wall as it may try to leap the wall to escape and hang itself.

6. Do not soothe and comfort a scared dog, it will only increase the problem. Instead be cheerful and in control. Encouraging calm behaviour with praise and attention.

7. Make sure that your dog is well identified in case of escape. A simple tag with the owner's name and telephone number will ensure that your pet gets back to you if it ends up at the Shelter.

8. Cat owners should also keep their cats indoors.

9. Rabbits and other caged animals should be safely secured in a garage or outbuilding away from the sight and sound of fireworks.

10. As an alternative, the cage can be covered with thick fabric to muffle the sound, making sure there is sufficient ventilation.

courtesy of Newsday .... Stop indiscriminate use of fireworks (edited)
Wednesday, December 27 2006, Newsday News

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