Firecracker displays look fantastic against a dark sky, and many people like to watch them on a winter’s night. But firecracker parties can be even colder and darker than expected, and pets and children may be more upset by the noise than you anticipate. This article draws attention to these hazards and others, with tips for avoiding them and ensuring unmarred enjoyment.
Precautions to Take Before Heading to a Winter Firecracker Display
Are you going to a firecracker party this winter? It’s a great season for sky displays, what with so many events to celebrate – Thanksgiving, Christmas and the British Guy Fawkes Night, to name a few, and you have the dark, winter skies to set off the colors. But don’t set out to watch before you’re ready. A dark, cold, noisy night can pose a few hazards, so check this list of pitfalls and precautions to ensure a safe and successful evening.
Firecrackers can be scary for pets
If the display is nearby, you’ll want to make your domestic pets comfortable first to save them being frightened by the loud noises and flashing lights. Dogs are known to get stressed by firecrackers, so cats, rabbits and other creatures are likely to suffer likewise. Close blinds and drapes, leave a light on and put the TV or radio on to drown out firecracker blasts. A food treat will also distract their attention.
Kids can get upset by loud bangs
If you have children, bear in mind they may find the firecracker sounds alarming, even if they’re trying to look cool. Reassure them before you set out that the noises don’t mean danger, and if they’re going along with you, keep close by them for reassurance. You’ll naturally be keeping a tight rein on any young children in your care, especially if there’s a bonfire.
You could get even colder than you expect
Pop your head out of the door to test the temperature, and you may find it mild, but by the time you’ve stood outside for an hour, you’ll find it anything but mild – unless you’re wrapped up in lots of layers with toes, fingers, head and ears well covered. Your children may be more resilient, but even they will be glad of their extra socks, gloves and ear-muffs. If it’s wet, you’ll need wellies to wade through the puddles, as well as your usual rain-wear.
Walking in the dark is tricky
Take a powerful torch – phone torch or other – to guide yourself and your family safely around the display area. The sky may be lit, but the ground could be very dark, particularly in a field or park, away from houses and streetlamps. A Slip or bump in dark would be nasty, so shine that torch out and hand on any spares to your kids.
Friends can be hard to recognize in the dark
Part of the fun of a firecracker party is to meet up with friends. But when their faces are shrouded in hats and scarves, with no light around to illuminate their features and a thick fog all around, it can be hard to see who’s who. To be sure of spotting each other, contact them first and arrange a rendezvous.
The hairy woodpecker is a wood pecker common to most of North America.
Do you want to get your kids out of the house and into the backyard for outdoor fun?
This article explains what it is, where it comes from and how rare it is to find it