Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020, I hope everyone enjoyed ringing in the New Year, but safely… Fireworks- a tradition to celebrate ringing in a New Year, but nevertheless with their dangers and problems. Last year, at the start of November an 18 week old terrier died whilst safely sheltered from the firing line of any fireworks due to a heart attack. Not just shock, but noises from fireworks can cause physical damage to domestic animals’ hearing.

The chemicals used in fireworks when inhaled can cause harm to our furry friends as well as us, as can being hit by one; in 2018 9,000 people in the US had to be treated for firework-related injuries, almost all of these were caused by fireworks hitting spectators.

The annual New Year firework display in Sydney caused a lot of controversies this year when people begged the government to step in a stop the display from going forward. They felt it was an unwise use of the 6.5 million Australian dollars considering the disasters that have been breaking out across the country. Since just Monday eight people have been killed by bushfires in South-Eastern Australia and more are missing. The latest fires have destroyed over 200 homes.

The organisers of the display claimed that although they would have liked to help, the money had already been spent preparing the celebration and there was nothing they could do. Even without the money, the display seemed oddly ironic, the fire in the sky for a celebration mirrors the dreadful fires causing devastation up and down the country.

Fireworks are not the only cause of danger at New Year, this time of year often means the roads are icy and dangerous and many people have been celebrating with alcohol throughout the night. On average 140 people die every year on New Year’s Eve/Day, at least 71% of car accidents from the evening of the 31st December to the morning of the 1st January have drugs or alcohol listed as a factor. On New Year’s day, more car crashes are caused by alcohol than on any other day of the Year.

So whether you are celebrating at home, in your friends’ garden or having a night out you are putting yourself at risks you didn’t even know existed. You may not be thinking about the danger you are in but look after yourself and each other, what a way to celebrate living another year; death.