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Fireys and Chinese Association warn against illegal Fireworks this Chinese New Year

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18 Jan 2012
This weekend Chinese New Year celebrations begin in Melbourne, with several events to be held over the next few weeks.

Following the fatal illegal firework accident in Melbourne on December 31, MFB and CFA have issued a warning to people about the potentially lethal dangers of illegal fireworks. The Chinese Association of Victoria has also supported the warning.

MFB Chief Fire Officer Shane Wright said firefighters have recently attended several incidents relating to illegal fireworks.

“It’s an avoidable demand on MFB and CFA services at a time of year when the fire risks are already heightened,” he said.

“Incidents involving illegal fireworks not only endanger the lives and health of those involved, but could ruin the festivities for friends and family.  Pyrotechnics are dangerous. They are explosive devices, and people need specialist training and a licence to use them."

Although many people see fireworks as an innocent celebration, CFA State Duty Officer Peter Baker said fireworks could cause serious damage to property and, as witnessed earlier this month at Tarneit, can cause death. 

“People need to be sensible and recognise the risks, especially with the high fuel-loads around country Victoria.  Illegal fireworks not only have the potential to start fires, but to cause serious burns, injure or even kill people”.

Chinese Association of Victoria president Rex Lai said that although fireworks are a big part of Chinese New Year celebrations there was no need for people to set off illegal fireworks.

“There are many official events happening all over Melbourne that will have fire crackers and fireworks set off by professionals,” Mr Lai said.

“Chinese New Year is a very important celebration for us, as we usher in the Year of the Dragon. Celebrations will include street stalls, dragon dances, culinary delights, arts and crafts and more than 50 performances.

“We want everyone, not just the Chinese community in Victoria, to join us in a safe but fun celebration. Illegal firework displays could easily backfire and ruin that.”

Chinese New Year 2012 Official Events

Saturday January 21 – Market Street, Box Hill
Sunday January 22 – Braybrook
Sunday January 22 – Springvale Road, Springvale
Saturday January 28 – Golden Dragon Museum, Bendigo
Sunday January 29 – Barkly Street, Footscray
Sunday January 29 – China Town, Little Bourke Street
Sunday February 5 – Glen Waverley, Kingsway
Saturday and Sunday February 4 to 5 – Springvale

For more information visit: www.chinesenewyear.com.au


For enquiries contact:
MFB Media and Communications: (03) 9665 4699 or CFA Media: (03) 5330 3124

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