Winter is coming. The nights are drawing in and the big woolly jumpers are coming out, which can only mean one thing. Fireworks!
It means Halloween, and it means Bonfire Night, and of course, it means Christmas.
The season of festivities is upon us, and there’s no better way to celebrate those amazing holidays than with some fireworks, especially on New Year’s Eve.
But, while Bonfire Night is a source of delight for many, for others it’s a night of stress and difficulty.
Specifically, the fireworks that many love so much are causing so many people distress, there’s a petition to ban public use of the things.
The Parliamentary petition has racked up almost 2,500 signatures at the time of writing, and looks to minimise the public’s use of fireworks.
The petition, titled ‘Change the laws governing the use of fireworks to include a ban on public use’, reads:
Fireworks can cause alarm, distress and anxiety to many people and animals.
We call on the Secretary of State to make appropriate provision to secure that the risk of public use is the MINIMUM that is compatible with fireworks being used…
The petition needs 10,000 signatures to get a response from the government, and 100,000 to be debated in Parliament.
The petition has only been up for a few days, and all petitions run for six months so it’s looking like it may hit at least the lower target, and possibly the 100,000 mark.
A similar petition was launched last year which received over 160,000 signatures during its six month stint.
The petition did get a debate in Parliament, but it was brief, and the suggestion of a ban was shot down.
Then business minister Jo Johnson said:
It is likely that those who already use fireworks in an anti-social or inconsiderate way would not be deterred by further regulation.
It’s understandable that people want the use of pyrotechnics limited considering the negative impact it has on pets, especially dogs.
The RSPCA estimates that 45 per cent of dogs are scared of fireworks, and suggest owners shouldn’t leave dogs alone on Bonfire Night.
They suggest owners should create a comfortable hiding place so the animals can feel secure when the fireworks start going off.
People have enjoyed using fireworks for centuries, and their history can be traced back to seventh century China with the advent of gunpowder.
Their first use in the UK is thought to have been some time around the 13th century, but the first documented use of them was thought to be the wedding of Henry VII in 1486, according to Picture Britain.
They gained their significance in British culture with Bonfire Night after Guy Fawkes unsuccessfully plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.
Fireworks didn’t become a part of the festivities until around the 1650s, but have since become so ubiquitous around the country it’s hard to imagine Bonfire Night without them.
While it certainly is a stressful time for a minority of people, a toughening of rules isn’t likely to change the impact of the pyrotechnics in the long run.