Police advise public on fireworks use

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The South African Police Service (SAPS) has urged communities to safely use fireworks ahead of the New Year celebrations.

According to the SAPS, New Year celebrations tend to be a challenge in terms of compliance with the use of fireworks.

Police spokesperson, Sabata Mokgwabone, says the only thing they would like see from the public is compliance with Act 26 of the Explosives Act.

“We urge members of the community to take note and make sure that they do not discharge fireworks at prohibited areas such as: 500 meters of away from any explosives magazine or explosives factory; any public building or any public thoroughfare; or any other public place or resort, except with the prior written permission of the local authority.”

Mokgwabone says it’s common practice for people to contravene the act but those who are found guilty could receive a fine of up to R600 or face a 12 month jail term.

He says pets should kept safe from fireworks once explosives go off and that gun owners should refrain from firing their guns in the air as part of the celebrations because other people could be harmed by stray bullets.

The community is urged to take heed and apply the following safety hints:

  • Buy only legal fireworks.
  • Always use fireworks outdoors.
  • Do not hold lit fireworks in your hand.
  • Have a hose or bucket of water nearby.
  • Stand back from all fireworks once they are lit.
  • Keep away nearby pets and under control.
  • Always comply with instructions on the fireworks.
  • Children should always use or light fireworks under the supervision of parents.
  • Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Always point them away from persons, houses and flammable substances.
  • Do not allow children to pick-up pieces of fireworks immediately-some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.

North West Police Commissioner, Baile Motswenyane, has also urged members of the community to comply with the law to avoid unnecessary injuries due to carelessness and non-compliance.

Moeketsi Mogotsi/Courant News