Animals are often frightened by fireworks. Pictured: A dog hiding under a chair.

Chelmsford City Council is asking residents to be considerate of others and keep firework displays to ‘Rocket O’Clock’. 

Annual Rocket O’Clock campaign returns this Guy Fawkes season

Rocket O’Clock is a community effort to keep Chelmsford’s firework displays – and the noise and flashing lights that come with them – to a specified window. The aim is to minimise the impact on those negatively affected by fireworks. 

Most of us are aware that fireworks can frighten pets and wildlife, but loud and sudden noises can affect many people within our communities. Those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, autism, and anxiety can find fireworks triggering or distressing. For these people, as well as farmers with livestock, parents or carers of young children, those relying on service dogs, and shift workers, knowing when to expect fireworks can be a huge help. 

Young children are often frightened by fireworks. Pictured: A mother comforts her crying baby.

When is Rocket O’Clock? 

This year, Rocket O’Clock asks that home firework displays are held between 7.00–9.00pm on Saturday 4 November and 7.30–8.30pm on Sunday 5 November. 

If you can, please attend public displays. If you choose to have a home display, please consider using silent or quiet fireworks. These have the appearance of ‘regular’ fireworks but cause far less noise.  

Rocket O'Clock encourages residents to attend public firework displays, keeping home displays to a minimum. Pictured: A parent and child enjoy a public firework display.

By limiting the window of loud bangs and bright flashes, we hope that fewer people and animals will be negatively affected. And those who struggle with fireworks will know when to expect them, lessening the element of surprise. 

Why should I take part in Rocket O’Clock? 

Rocket O’Clock is not a legal requirement, it is a request to be mindful of others. Councillor Moore encourages residents to attend public displays if they can: 

“We understand that people enjoy creating their own firework displays. But, for those who can, we encourage you to consider the benefits of attending a public display. For example, Chelmsford Round Table’s charity firework display is back for its 48th year in Admirals Park, with all money raised from the event going back into the local community. 

“Of course, we can’t stop people releasing fireworks from their gardens; the law permits home displays, and many people are responsible, giving their neighbours plenty of notice. In these cases, we ask that fireworks are released during the “Rocket O’Clock” window to keep disturbance to a minimum. 

“Thank you to everyone who continues to support this campaign and is mindful of those who find Bonfire Night distressing.” 

Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for a Greener and Safer Chelmsford 

Local public firework displays  

There are some fantastic public firework displays taking place in Chelmsford. Here are some of the most popular: 

Chelmsford Round Table Charity Fireworks at Admirals Park on Saturday 4 November. Doors open at 5pm, fireworks start at 7.30pm. Get tickets here

Fireworks Spectacular 2023 at Chelmsford City Racecourse on Sunday 5 November. Doors open at 4pm, fireworks start at 7.30pm. Get tickets here

Low Noise Family Fireworks at Kings Road Primary School on Thursday 2 November. Doors open at 5pm, fireworks start at 7.00pm. Get tickets here

Rocket O'Clock asks you to consider others when planning firework displays.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service have bonfire and firework safety information on their website: 

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