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Stay safe this Guy Fawkes Night

Sparklers being used outdoors at night, held at arms length.

Whether you’re planning a firework display or some fun with the sparklers, we’d like to share a few useful safety tips to keep you, your whānau, your pets and your property safe this Guy Fawkes Night.

1. Be prepared.

Fire can spread quickly, so, however you choose to celebrate, have water, a hose or a fire extinguisher to hand; it’s always better to be prepared in the case of an emergency. Eye protection and gloves are simple ways to help prevent fire-related injuries.

2. Watch the weather.

If it is windy and dry, it might be a better idea to call off the show. Strong winds can tip over fireworks and launch them in the wrong direction. Sparklers are a great way to get everyone involved, but they can be a fire hazard, so stand downwind, and hold the sparklers at arm’s length.

3. Clear the area.

Pick a spot with enough space to safely run your activities. Set up at a safe distance away from houses, trees, hedges and fences. For fireworks, make sure you point them at a clear sky, away from anything that could catch fire, such as overhanging trees, or do damage to, like power lines. Safety distances will generally be specified on the packaging and should be adhered to. If in doubt, don’t stand any closer than 10 meters from the action.

4. Keep it secure.

Keep all unlit fireworks in their box until you’re ready to light them. Before setting any off, make sure you carefully read and follow the instructions. Ground-based fireworks will need to be securely anchored into the ground or planted firmly in a bucket of sand before they are lit.

5. Spare a thought.

Have a think about everyone in the surrounding area who may hear or see the show. It might be an idea to forewarn your neighbours and be considerate with your timing as no one wants to be kept up all night. Fireworks can be distressing to pets, so keep them indoors if possible, with windows and curtains closed. Have a read of the SPCA’s tips on how to ensure the safety of your animals on Guy Fawkes Night.

6. Do your homework.

Check your local bylaws for guidance on what you can do in your local area, and refer to Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s recommendations for lighting fireworks. Make sure you follow the public health restrictions on outdoor gatherings in your area.

7. Be responsible.

Once the show is over, don’t forget to clean up after yourselves. Used fireworks can leave behind debris that may cause harm to people, animals and our environment. Soak used fireworks in a bucket of water for fifteen minutes before safely disposing of them.

Stay safe and make it a night to remember – for all the right reasons.

Any questions?

Now’s a great time to review your insurance. We recommend checking your details are up to date and ensuring the policy and cover you’ve chosen is right for you and your insurance needs.

If you have any questions about your insurance, need to update your AA Insurance policies or would like a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and from 8am to 6pm weekends and public holidays.

This blog provides general information only and is not intended to be a recommendation or personalised financial advice. Excesses, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply to AA Insurance Limited’s policies. Please check the policy wording for details of cover. The provision of cover is subject to the underwriting criteria that apply at the time.

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