Thursday, November 03, 2016

Bonfire Night Battle

With November 5th being Bonfire Night here in the UK we celebrate by lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks. Many organised events take place around the country on large and smaller scales. These are licensed events but fireworks are available from most convenience stores and supermarkets too for the general public to buy. 

The sky really is a light on this night with continuous explosions, flashes, bangs, crackles and squeals. So much so that the sky can become smokey during the peek times of fireworks being set off.

There are some amazing displays but consider the impact that fireworks can have. They are loud, sudden noise that can be hard far and wide. If your neighbour sets off a large rocket it can even make your windows rattle and echo through your house. You can see the flashes of light through windows when you are nearby. There is no warning noise with some fireworks just a loud bang. Some whistle which makes you anticipate the bang, which some will explode loudly and others won't.

Many people don't like fireworks and become anxious when they hear them. They can be stressful and make you jump when you don't expect them, for anybody. Now imagine Bonfire Night for war veterans or others who have experienced a traumatic explosion and are suffering with PTSD. The explosive bang can trigger flashbacks of war zones or cause intrusive thoughts. This isn't the case for every veteran but for a large amount with PTSD it is.

So how can we help? Preferably by attending an organised event. As these are advertised with a date and time it gives anyone who struggles the chance to anticipate and prepare for the noise and if they wish to remove themselves from the area they can do. Some veterans prefer to leave their homes and go to a more secluded area for the night around Bonfire Night, July 4th, New Years Eve, etc... If you are setting off fireworks let your neighbours know the date and time, where you will be setting them off from on your property and stick to those plans.

Stay safe and be considerate. It's not all ooh's and aah's.

Much love,
Becky xx

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