Okay, I’ll say it: fireworks should be banned

If something causes more harm than joy then it should go.

Fireworks can be pretty but that is the only purpose they serve. Beyond that, they are at best, an irritant and at worst, an outright danger. In 2014-2015 over four and a half thousand people visited A&E for a firework related injury, but burns are not the only way that fireworks can harm a person.

The loud bangs and flashing lights can be utterly terrifying for people living with PTSD or people who are particularly sensitive to loud noises, such as some neurodivergent people, autistic people, people with anxiety and many others. They are also a nightmare for pets and therefore pet owners. Plenty of pets are absolutely terrified by the loud noises. Dogs can run off and even break their leads to try to get away at the sudden loud bangs. It’s not as simple as staying in because fireworks don’t just go off on one night of the year. People set them off constantly from October through to the start of January. It can mean months of having to navigate constant stress and anxiety, either your own or someone else’s.

“It can mean months of having to navigate constant stress and anxiety”

The physical toll of fireworks is much talked about too and never addressed. Every year people are warned about the dangers and every year firefighters are still rushed off their feet – which is a drain on a vital public service that has been squeezed constantly in recent years.

Fireworks also are grotesque pollutants. When they burn, they burn metal, particle pollution is caused which can linger in the air for days. Guy Fawkes Night is the most polluted night in the year of the UK. Additionally, the debris and pollution that falls back to the ground can pollute our lakes and rivers. The implication is clear: if you care about protecting the environment (particularly if you supported banning plastic straws for disabled people and ignored all concerns) then logic dictates you should support banning fireworks for people, particularly as they are at least not a necessary tool to function.

Being pretty just doesn’t cut it. Fireworks are a drain. They cause physical and mental stress and they are bad for the environment. Ban them now. Just do what everyone else does and impose some CGI on news broadcasts. That will do. We really don’t need fireworks and nor are we entitled to them.

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