shutterstock 532554322 smallWith Bonfire Night fast approaching, you may be planning on holding your own display for family in the back garden.

Fireworks are great fun to watch but they can be noisy, so it’s important to think about protecting your hearing at this time of year.

In the UK the legal limit for fireworks is 120dB, which is 35dB above the level of noise when hearing damage can occur. The louder the sound, the shorter the time period before hearing loss can happen. And at 120db it only takes minutes to risk permanently damaging your hearing.

The good news is you can customise your selection of fireworks for reduced noise. All fireworks come with a noise level rating, so selecting quieter fireworks will not only preserve a good relationship with your neighbours, it will protect your hearing as well. Quieter options include fountains, wheels, falling leaves and comets. While not completely silent, they crackle and whistle instead of creating a loud, explosive boom. All are created for spectacular visual display but less noise.

Try to avoid rockets, mines and any fireworks that have many blasts strung together tightly. These fireworks are created to make as much noise as possible. Your fireworks provider should be able to direct you to those that are lower on the noise rating scale.

The best way to protect your hearing is to keep your distance from the fireworks and wear some good fitting earplugs. For younger children, ear defenders are highly recommended.

If you remember one thing this November make sure it’s this - avoid noises that are “too loud” and “too close” or that last “too long.”

Learn about firework safety at the RoSPA website.