October 31, 2008
Fireworks go on sale this Sunday for four days until 5 November, Guy Fawkes.
The fireworks safety campaign team this year asks people to keep up the good work, to take care and consider community.
Fireworks-related injuries and damage to property dropped last year by a third from 2006. The shorter sales period, combined with a rainy night and greater vigilance, are credited for the reduction. But NZ Police and the Fire Service say each year fireworks are dangerous when misused. Silliness with fireworks is a menace to people, pets and property:
Inspector Marc Paynter from Police National Headquarters says while last year was better, preventable harm still occurred.
'Safety should be at the forefront of people’s minds when using fireworks. We urge anyone using fireworks to use common sense; keep children and animals out of harms way. If you see people being reckless with fireworks, trying to aim them at people or things, call 111 and report it.
'If you are old enough to buy fireworks, you are old enough to behave responsibly. Don't let your community down,' Inspector Paynter said.
Fire Service, acting National Commander Bill Butzbach agrees, saying the Fire Service is pleased with last year’s reduction in fireworks-related call-outs and wants to see another reduction this year. The Fire Service particularly asks everyone to work together to stop preventable fires:
“Keep your eyes open, think twice - don’t fool with fireworks!”
“If you choose to light fireworks yourself rather than going to a public display, follow the safety instructions and use them in a controlled area and not out in public places where your friends, buildings and greenery can catch fire,” Mr Butzbach said.
New rules introduced last season mean fireworks can only be sold from 2–5 November, the age at which people can buy them has been raised from 14 to 18 years, and sparklers must now be sold in packs with other fireworks, not separately.
The fireworks safety campaign includes a website with safety tips and a list of many of the public displays around the country – www.guyfawkessafety.govt.nz