The eThekwini Municipality has cautioned residents against the use of illegal fireworks and reminded them about the importance of responsible usage.
This is ahead of Diwali which will be celebrated this weekend, and the upcoming festive season celebrations.
In a statement, eThekwini Municipality said it was guided by the Nuisances and Public Behaviour and the National Control of Explosives/Fireworks by-laws.
“Anyone found in contravention of the city by-laws will be fined.”
The city said that even though fireworks are beautiful and exciting to watch, they can also be potentially dangerous.
“Because fireworks can cause damage to your property and harm your family or pets.”
The city has provided a few guidelines for those wanting to purchase fireworks:
• Only buy fireworks from authorised dealers and shops displaying the relevant permits from the South African Police Service (SAPS).
• No person may allow or permit any child under the age of 16 to handle or use fireworks, except under the supervision of an adult.
• The fireworks are sold in sealed packages, as received from the suppliers.
The city encouraged pet owners to keep an eye on their pets and, if possible, keep them safely indoors.
“Animals are easily frightened by fireworks and can become distressed or try to escape and run away.”
Tips to keep residents safe:
• Make sure that your children and their friends are supervised at all times when around fireworks.
• Fireworks should be discharged in a safe and well-ventilated outdoor area and must never be discharged indoors.
• Never keep lit fireworks in your hand, as this could lead to severe injuries.
• A person must never point or direct a firework at any person, animal, building, or motor vehicle that is in the process of exploding or detonating.
• If a firework doesn’t ignite, don’t attempt to relight it. Wait at least 15 minutes before you try again.
• Keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a malfunctioning firework.
• Only use fireworks as directed by the instructions provided along with the packaging.
• Make sure that your clothes are not close to or hanging over the fireworks when you ignite them.
• Don’t light fireworks inside any type of container.
• The use of “tea-light” lanterns is strongly discouraged within the municipal area.
• Never discharge fireworks while under the influence of alcohol.
The city said according to the by-law, no person may use any fireworks other than consumer fireworks in any residence except on approved days.
These are currently Guy Fawkes, Diwali between sunset and midnight, and 31 December from 23:45 until 00:15 the next day.
In the event of an emergency, residents can report fires to the emergency call centre at 031 361 0000.
Those with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks must report it to Metro Police on 031 361 0000 or to SAPS on 10111.