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JMPD issues fireworks guidelines

Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers will be out in full force this festive season to clamp down on anyone contravening by-laws regulating the use of fireworks.

Fireworks displays to welcome the New Year have often ended in tears for revellers. The danger posed by fireworks is that they may shoot off dangerously and in different directions, striking people or igniting fires around houses.

In the past, houses have burnt down, people have lost their fingers and eyes and pets left traumatised as a result of the reckless and unlawful use of fireworks.

“The public needs to understand that there are rules and regulations they need to abide by when using fireworks,” says JMPD spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.

During the festive season, fireworks may only be used on Christmas Eve (from 7pm to 10pm), Day of Goodwill (from 7pm to 10pm), New Year’s Eve (from 11pm to 1am) and New Year’s Day (from 7pm to 10pm).

The JMPD has appealed to merrymakers to use fireworks safely and to keep the safety of children and pets in mind at all times. It has also urged them to keep their pets indoors when using fireworks and never to throw lit crackers at them.

Minnaar says metro police officers are responsible for enforcing by-laws, while Johannesburg Emergency Management Services personnel respond to injuries and fires caused, in this case, by fireworks.

He has appealed to the public to behave in a responsible manner so they can enjoy the festivities. The following are some of the provisions in the City by-laws regulating the use of fireworks:

No person may deal in fireworks unless he or she holds the required fireworks licence in terms of the Explosives Act;
No person under age of 16 must use explosives without adult supervision;
Fireworks must not be used inside any building, on agricultural holdings, in public places such as schools, old age homes, hospitals, where animals are present, or within 500m of an explosives factory or storage facility, petrol depot or petrol stations; and
Revellers must use fireworks in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.​