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New Year's Illegal Fireworks Warning

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30 Dec 2013
Crackdown on illegal use of fireworks over New Year's Period

Victoria's fire authorities will be cracking down on any illegal use of fireworks over the New Year's period.  

With plenty of local fireworks displays across the state, there is no need for people to risk setting off illegal fireworks or fire crackers.

CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said although many people see illegal fireworks as an innocent celebration, they cause serious issues for fire services.

"It's an added strain on services at a time of year when the fire risks are already heightened," he said.

"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.

MFB Acting Chief Officer Peter Rau said the fire services were well aware that people enjoyed watching fireworks, particularly around Christmas and the New Year, which is why he encourages people to attend the official displays.

"We don't want people starting the New Year with a trip to hospital so enjoy the public fireworks displays that are organised by many councils and managed by professional fireworks companies," 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."

The City of Melbourne has announced they will host a $3 million New Year's Eve party, complete with fireworks at four key live viewing areas this year, including Kings Domain near the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Docklands, Flagstaff Gardens and Treasury Garden.

"In the event that a Total Fire Ban or TFB is declared for New Year's Eve, fire authorities will work with official permitted fireworks events to ensure they can proceed," Mr Rau said.

Pet owners need to be extra vigilant with their animals, especially dogs, ahead of the planned fireworks displays on New Year's Eve.

People should also be aware if they are caught with illegal fireworks they can face severe penalties including jail.

If you wish to inform authorities of illegal fireworks activities phone Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

For more information contact:
CFA Media (03) 5330 3124
MFB Media (03) 9665 4699

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