Think before you light up your fireworks, the City of Johannesburg’s emergency services have urged residents.
Many see lighting a cracker or two as a traditional way of ushering in the new year.
However, it is important to be mindful of how this affects other people and critters, from your neighbours to pets and wildlife.
Here are some fast facts about fireworks in Joburg this year:
- Fireworks can be set off between 11pm and 1am on New Year’s Eve, and from 7pm to 10pm on New Year’s Day;
- If people use fireworks after this, they will be fined at least R2,000;
- No minors may use, light or ignite fireworks;
- No fireworks can be ignited where animals are present;
- No fireworks can be lit within 500m of an explosives factory or storage area, petrol depot or station, inside any building, on any agricultural holding, at any public place, or at any school, retirement home or hospital;
- Fireworks displays must first be authorised by the City Council, Civil Aviation Authority and Chief Inspector of Explosives;
- No fireworks may be sold unless sellers have a fireworks licence and written permission from City of Joburg EMS and police;
- Those who are allowed to sell fireworks must ensure fireworks are sold in a glass cabinets, with fire extinguishers nearby.
Pet owner survival guide
Being a pet owner while fireworks clang in the distance can be a stressful endeavour.
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Here are some important points to remember if, like many, you are staying home to keep your furbabies safe:
- Make sure to get your pets microchipped, and remember to update the microchip information. A collar with a name tag would be an added bonus;
- Feed your pets well before the fireworks start;
- Try to keep your pets inside a room with high windows, cosy corners to hide and no hazardous objects. Make sure to put toys and your pet’s bed in the room, and if possible, have a small nook or cupboard open for them to hide in;
- Mask the noise of the fireworks by playing music;
- Close all curtains to block out flashes of light;
- Hire a pet sitter if you cannot stay home with your pets;
- And if you pets are especially sensitive to noise and fireworks, consult with a veterinarian on possible medication that can be administered.
Compiled by Nica Richards