Statistically, homes with thatched roofs are no more likely to catch fire than those with conventional roofs; however, if a thatched roof does ignite, the results are rapid and devastating. If you live under thatch, it is wise to be extra vigilant around November 5th and make frequent checks on your roof. For further information and advice, contact your local fire safety officer.
We would ask that residents DO NOT have bonfires or set off any fireworks in their gardens, as they pose a serious risk to the thatched properties in the village.
Chinese lanterns are of particular concern, as the potential for harm when they descend is catastrophic, with a number of thatch fires resulting from these lanterns.
The laws concerning fireworks:
· It is illegal for anyone under 18 to possess a firework in a public place.
· Fireworks cannot be set off by a private individual between 11.00pm and 7.00am except for certain nights of the year.
· It is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any captive or domestic animal.
Fireworks and Animals – Animals have very acute hearing and are frightened by loud bangs. By following these simple recommendations from the Blue Cross you can help to protect them.
Every year thousands of animals will suffer as a result of fireworks being let off. Blue Cross animal hospitals across the country see a marked rise in pets requiring medication during such stressful times, and many animals are brought into Blue Cross adoption centres having run away from home.
Dogs & Cats
· Always keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off.
· Make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before the fireworks start.
· Close all windows and doors, and block off catflaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum. Draw the curtains, and if the animals are used to the sounds of TV or radio, switch them on in order to block out some of the noise of the fireworks.
· All pets must be microchipped, so if they do run away they have a better chance of being quickly reunited with you.
· Avoid leaving your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events.
Horses & Livestock
· Fireworks must not be set off near livestock or horses in fields, or close to buildings housing horses or livestock.
· Anyone planning a firework display in a rural area should warn neighbouring horse owners and farmers in advance.
· Try to make sure that fireworks are never set off near your horse’s field or stable. Tell neighbours there are horses nearby, so that they can ensure fireworks are not set off in the area.
· Keep your horse in its familiar environment, in its normal routine with any companions to make it feel secure. If your horse is usually stabled then keep it stabled. If it is normally out in the field, keep it there as long as it is safe and secure. Ensure that you or someone experienced stays with your horse if you know fireworks are being set off.
· Chinese lanterns are known to cause terrible injuries and the deaths of horses and other livestock. As there is no way of controlling where they go and where they land, the advice to horse owners is to be vigilant and to ensure you check your fields and hedgerows for burnt out lanterns.
Small pets – Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and birds all need to be treated with special care when fireworks are being let off. These animals are easily frightened.
· Hutches/cages and enclosures should, if possible, be put in a garage or shed.
· If you cannot bring your pet’s hutch inside, you should turn its enclosure around so that it faces a wall or fence instead of the open garden.
· Cover any aviaries or hutches with thick blankets or a duvet to block out the sight of the fireworks and deaden the sound of the bangs, but make sure there is enough ventilation.