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Effects of fireworks on people, animals and property

Illegal use of fireworks can be dangerous to you and to others and is a public nuisance.

People who use fireworks carelessly, or without knowing what they're doing can be killed or maimed. They can also kill or maim others.

Fireworks can burn down houses, damage entertainment venues such as nightclubs, frighten children and adults, cause bushfires, and terrify pets and wildlife.

Noise from fireworks can cause distress, especially as fireworks can sound like gunfire. The noise can also cause tinnitus and deafness, or aggravate a nervous condition.

People who suffer from asthma can experience discomfort and epileptics can experience seizures following fireworks displays.

When frightened by fireworks, horses and dogs have been known to injure themselves and others by running away, potentially causing accidents and damage to property.

For these reasons, animal owners who have been advised of an authorised fireworks display are urged to keep their dogs, cats and other pets inside the house, so that the animals are safe and can’t run away. Horse owners should take steps to protect their animals.

A calming shirt can help relieve a dog’s anxiety relating to fireworks, thunderstorms and gunshots. To find out more about these products, search the web for ‘dog calming shirt’ or ‘dog anxiety treatment’.


Illegal use of fireworks is an offence and carries a penalty. The maximum penalty is $47,120 or 6 months imprisonment.

Also, if you are responsible for the loss or injury of an expensive animal through your illegal use of fireworks, you may be sued for damages.

Related links

  • View the list of upcoming fireworks for awareness of fireworks in your area.
  • Download poster—Keeping the community safe and secure from fireworks.


Contact us

For complaints or enquiries about explosives and fireworks, contact the Explosives Inspectorate.

Last updated
20 October, 2016
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