NEWS

$400 Fine For Using Fireworks Outside Permitted Hours

The permitted hours for the use of fireworks is between 5pm to 10pm and on Diwali public holiday tomorrow, it is from 5pm to midnight.
15 Nov 2020 11:49
$400 Fine For Using Fireworks Outside Permitted Hours
From left: Anuradha Chand, Prakash Lata and Roshni Singh shop for their Diwali firecrackers at Mahesh Syndicate shop in Suva on November 12, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Anyone found lighting fireworks outside the permitted hours can be fined $400 or face jail time of up to six months.

This was the message reiterated yesterday by the acting director for mines, Rigieta Ravuiwasa.

The permitted hours for the use of fireworks is between 5pm to 10pm and on Diwali public holiday tomorrow, it is from 5pm to midnight.

Ms Ravuiwasa said as the festive season approaches, the Mineral Resources Department is cautioning people on the legal and safety aspects of purchasing, possessing and using consumer-related fireworks.

People must ensure that all fireworks purchased are permitted fireworks.

Fireworks are classified under the UN Hazard Classification system as Class 1.3 and 1.4 explosives.

Class 1.3 fireworks are strictly for public displays conducted by a certified fireworks operator while some Class 1.4 fireworks are consumer fireworks which are permitted for over the counter sale for private use.

Retailers, she said, are not allowed to sell fireworks to people under the age of 18-years-old and only licensed retailers can sell fireworks provided they display their licence to Store and Deal in Explosives and permit to Possess Explosives within their premises.

People are also warned that making and using their own fireworks is strictly prohibited for instance using bamboo guns.

Prohibited fireworks include; spherical or cylindrical shells, woodpecker, strikers, bangers, lady-crackers, flash-bangers, pulling/string crackers, aerial wheels, mines (bag mine, cylinder mine), moon traveller, missile-type rocket, whistling rocket and rockets without a stick.

Curfew

“For individuals within the perimeters of their premises or homes during the Diwali Holiday and discharging fireworks between 11pm and 12 midnight, this is not a breach of curfew hours as long as the permitted hours of use of fireworks are adhered to,” she said.

“This also applies to those who may not reside at their respective homes but are visiting their relatives or friends during the Diwali Holiday, however remain within the perimeters of their relative or friend’s dwelling.”

Furthermore, the Mineral Resources Department is requesting members of the public to be considerate of and respect the Hindu community’s Diwali prayer times from 5pm to 6pm tomorrow.

“The department hopes for a fireworks incident-free festive season. Remember, fireworks are not toys but dangerous goods that must be treated or handled with utmost care and responsibility,” she said.

Edited by Selita Bolanavanua

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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