The public are being urged not to let off fireworks or sky lanterns when taking part in the weekly “clap for carers” campaign.
Emergency services and horse owners are among those who have raised concerns about fireworks being let off on Thursday evenings at 8pm. The weekly campaign was started to show appreciation for key workers and NHS staff and volunteers helping through the Covid-19 pandemic.
An event rider based in Bedfordshire told H&H how her horses, who were turned out at the time, have been startled by fireworks being set off.
“No one was injured this time but it only takes one horse to be frightened and run through a fence, then you could be dealing with an injury – or a broken leg. Who knows what could happen?,” said the rider.
“If someone gets trampled and needs an ambulance because of it, you’re defeating the purpose.”
The rider added many NHS staff and key workers own horses themselves.
“The last thing they want to do is come home after a shift and find their horse has injured itself because someone has let off fireworks,” she said.
“Everybody wants to show support for the NHS because they’re doing a fantastic job – but there are better ways of showing it.”
Fire services and police forces have used social media to urge the public to stick to clapping.
“Can we please remind you to not let fireworks off. Please continue to support #clapforcarers, the NHS and key workers by not setting them off,” said Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Services.
“Resources are needed to support our colleagues on the front line in combatting Covid-19.”
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Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We know everyone wants to show their appreciation for key workers, especially NHS at this time, but please don’t use sky laterns or fireworks, which can be dangerous or upsetting for people, property, and animals.
“Why not hang up some rainbow banners instead?”
St Albans Police, of Hertfordshire Constabulary, was among those to remind the public that fireworks and sky lanterns can cause fires where they land, harming property and wildlife.
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