JULY 1 is fast approaching and while Territory Day is a day to celebrate the Northern Territory, every year the day sparks a new debate as to whether cracker night should be banned or not.
Katherine fire fighters are preparing for a busy night as fire crackers can easily light grass fires.
Katherine Fire and RescueActing Station Officer Garry Branson urged people in the region to be careful when lighting crackers.
“Please be mindful if you’re using fire crackers in grassy areas as the grass is very dry and is easily ignited,” he said.
“Possible gusty winds on the day can make grassfires travel quite quickly.”
But not only fire fighters urge the public to spare an extra thought for the safety of everyone in the community.
Vet Dr Alexander Burleigh from Northern Territory Veterinary Services said cracker night was also a time for “blind panic” for dogs in the Katherine region.
“Every year many dogs in Katherine become terrified, destroy furniture ... or go missing on and around fireworks night.
“Most return or are found unharmed soon after, but each year some are never found.”
Dr Burleigh said most dogs would be terrified of loud noises such as fireworks.
“Some dogs aren’t capable of a comfort level with fireworks, but a lot can be done to get them through this time of year with as little stress as possible.
Most people will know if their dog is likely to be afraid and to what degree.
“If your dog is afraid of thunder or gunshots, it will also be afraid of fireworks, although often to a greater degree as they’re closer and louder.
“Make sure your dog has a safe and secure area to shelter in well ahead of time.
“Remember that a yard or area of a house that normally provides a secure area can be broken out of in a blind panic during fireworks.
“Dogs have been known to scale high fences and dive through glass windows when panicked.
“A totally enclosed kennel or secure room of a house that provides something to hide in or under is best.
“It is preferable to have someone home with the dog to supervise and comfort them.
Dr Burleigh said prescribed sedatives or anti-anxiety medication for dogs could also help calm pooches down on the stressful day.
“(This is) often the safest, most effective way to get your dog through this period with as little hassle as possible.”