At a Glance: Everything you need to know about Guy Fawkes

(iStock)
(iStock)

Today is Guy Fawkes, and Kiwis are being reminded to be careful and opt for firework displays over setting them off at home.

Fireworks went on sale on Monday, with today being the last day to buy them.

"I would consider further tightening the rules if there is a significant increase in problems. I will be monitoring the management of fireworks this week and urge users to take care so as to ensure the safety of people, property and animals," says Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith.

However, he says the number of Fire Service callouts and firework-related injuries have reduced significantly since tighter rules came into force seven years ago.

Calls for a ban on public sales by the SPCA have not been answered, despite a petition attracting more than 32,000 signatures.

"Fireworks are traumatic for animals. The loud, unexpected bangs are distressing for many animals. It can cause them to run away creating more safety issues for people and animals," says SPCA New Zealand chief executive Ric Odom.

The SPCA says research shows that when exposed to fireworks, animals routinely displayed fearful behaviour including trembling, escaping, urination or defecation, vocalisation and destructive behaviour.

One month ago the Environmental Protection Authority wrote to all firework importers to remind them of their obligations. Retailers can hold up to 1000kg of fireworks at any one time.

What are the rules for selling fireworks?

The number of fireworks-related Fire Service callouts have nearly halved since tough sales restrictions started in 2008. So what are the rules?

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

The New Zealand Fire Service provides some tips when lighting fireworks:

The SPCA provides some tips to keep your animals safe:

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