From cackles to sparkles, this week has seen the haunting of Halloween to the bursting of Bonfire Night. It is a night filled with bonfires, fireworks and delicious food. However, with large crowds and loud noises, it can be overwhelming for some people and a scary one for many pets and wildlife. If you are thinking of how you can have an alternative celebration for Guy Fawkes, at Deakin-White we have put together some tips and ideas.
Safety First: Tips on ensuring a safe bonfire night
Many of you will, no doubt, be heading to an organised fireworks display in locally, while some of you may be planning your own display at home, and although it is an evening full of excitement and dramatic displays, it's important to prioritise safety to ensure that everyone can enjoy the festivities without any accidents or injuries. That's why you must be familiar with the firework code.
- To make your firework display safe and enjoyable, plan ahead and be aware of the legal setting-off times.
- When purchasing fireworks in England, Scotland or Wales, ensure they carry the UKCA mark. In Northern Ireland, look for the UKNI symbol, or the UKNI and UKCA marks together.
- Keep fireworks stored in a closed box and only use them one at a time. Follow the instructions on each firework and use a torch if necessary.
- Always light fireworks at arm's length with a taper, standing well back.
- Keep naked flames away from fireworks and never return to a lit firework.
- Never carry fireworks in your pockets or throw them, and direct rocket fireworks away from spectators.
- Don't use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire and make sure to put the fire out and secure the surroundings before leaving.
When using sparklers, it's crucial to follow these safety tips.
- Sparklers burn at a temperature of 2000 degrees, 20 times hotter than boiling water! Keep them away from children under the age of 5 who won't understand how to use them safely.
- Wear gloves when handling them, and avoid holding a baby or child if you have a sparkler in your hand.
- As soon as they have burnt out, put finished sparklers into a bucket of water, as they can stay hot for a long time.
- Always supervise children when they're using sparklers.
- Make sure that children aren't dressed in loose or flowing clothes and teach them to hold sparklers away from their body and at arm's length.
- Ensure children know not to wave sparklers near anyone else or run while holding them.
Keeping calm: calming advice for your pets
Bonfire Night is not thrilling for our pets; loud noises and bright lights can be very stressful. To ensure that your furry friends stay calm and safe during the celebrations, here are some helpful tips:
- Create a safe space: set up a quiet and comfortable area in your home where your pets can retreat to. Provide them with familiar bedding, toys and water to help them feel secure.
- Keep them indoors: if possible, keep your pets indoors during the fireworks display. Close the curtains or blinds to minimise the noise and flash of lights.
- Provide distraction: turn on some calming music or the television to provide background noise and distract your pets from the fireworks. You can also try giving them a chew toy or treat to keep them occupied.
- Stay calm yourself: animals are sensitive to our emotions, so try to remain calm and relaxed during the fireworks. if your pets see that you're not concerned, they may feel more at ease.
- Consult with your vet: if your pet becomes extremely anxious during fireworks, speak to your vet about possible solutions. They may recommend natural remedies or prescribe medication to help alleviate their anxiety.
- Classically smooth: our Deakin-White team can personally recommend Classic FM's Pet Classics hosted by Charlotte Hawkins, which has been created with support by the RSPCA. It will be broadcast on Saturday, 4 and Sunday, 5 November, 5pm to 9pm.
By following these calming tips, you can ensure that your pets have a stress-free Bonfire Night.
Protect them: ideas for protecting hedgehogs
Bonfire Night can be a hazardous time for hedgehogs, as they may mistake the piles of leaves and wood for a safe place to hibernate. To ensure the safety of these adorable creatures, before you light your bonfire:
- Make sure to thoroughly check for any hedgehogs or other small animals that may have taken shelter in the pile.
- Use a broom handle to gently prod and poke the wood, giving any animals a chance to escape.
- Provide an alternative shelter for hedgehogs by building a hedgehog house in your garden. This will give them a safe and cosy place to hibernate during the colder months.
- Clear away any garden waste or debris that hedgehogs could get trapped in, such as netting or plastic bags. Hedgehogs can easily become tangled, so keep your garden clean and hazard free.
- Leave out a shallow dish of fresh water and some cat or dog food for hedgehogs to find. This will help to supplement their natural food sources and keep them hydrated.
By taking these simple steps, you can play a vital role in protecting hedgehogs during Bonfire Night.
However you decide to celebrate this Bonfire Night, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable one.