Call for Chelmsford households to limit fireworks to ‘Rocket O’Clock’

October 31, 2020 7:02 PM

fireworks (Chelmsford City Council)Fireworks aren't fun for everyone is the message this year from Chelmsford City Council. In recent years, more and more fireworks have been set off over many days in October and November. Everyone planning at-home fireworks is asked to show care for animals and vulnerable neighbours by lighting their fuses at the same time at 'Rocket O'Clock'. Also, remember that, under Covid restrictions, households are not allowed to mix indoors at all and you can only be outside with up to six people.

In a series of social media posts, the Council is asking householders to let off their fireworks at either 7pm on Thursday 5 November (Guy Fawkes' Night) or 8pm on Saturday 7 November - and avoid buying 'super-loud' fireworks over 90 decibels.

Lib Dem Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Safer and Greener Chelmsford, said, "2020 has been an incredibly stressful year so far for many people in Chelmsford. For some, such as people with PTSD or sensory processing disorders as well as our pets and wildlife, firework noise can be really frightening. Rocket O'Clock is about showing solidarity and care for our neighbours - both by joining our home displays together to create an amazing show, and by limiting the noisy time to reduce the stress for others."

More people are expected to have at-home firework displays this year, as most public displays have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Council is also asking people to stick to the Tier 2 rules that recently came into effect in Essex.

The Rocket O'Clock request follows a motion raised by Councillors Mike Steel and Lib Dem Martin Bracken, which the Council passed in February to take action to reduce the impact of firework displays, including by raising awareness of the harm that loud fireworks can cause. The Council has also written to the Government, asking for legislation to limit the noise level of fireworks on sale to 90 decibels.

Chelmsford pet owner, Lily, 11, supports the campaign. She said, "Fireworks can scare animals and make people stressed if they go on too late. So show that you care by only having fireworks at 7pm on 5 November and 8pm on 7 November so people and pets can get ready - and don't buy the really big, noisy ones."