Chelmsford households to show 2020 solidarity with fireworks at ‘Rocket O’Clock’

Content originally from Chelmsford City Council

Graphic of fireworks with text saying 'Rocket O'Clock: 7pm on 5th of November and 8pm on 7th of November'

Chelmsford City Council is asking everyone planning an at-home firework display this year to show care for animals and vulnerable neighbours by lighting their fuses at the same time at ‘Rocket O’Clock’.

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.

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 have recently come into effect in Essex.

The Rocket O’Clock request follows a motion raised by Councillor Mike Steel that 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.”

To find out more and to join in with Rocket O’Clock, find @ChelmsCouncil on Twitter or Facebook.