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Do not put your family at risk with fireworks
Victorians are being urged to rethink New Year’s Eve plans involving illegal backyard fireworks displays, or risk facing fines of up to $14,761.
The warning comes following the collection of more than eight tonnes of illegal fireworks and flares by the Victorian WorkCover Authority in 2014.
VWA’s Acting Executive Director Health and Safety, Shane Gillard, said that only licensed pyrotechnicians were allowed to set off fireworks in Victoria.
“Fireworks have been banned from use by the general public since 1982 for good reason – they can cause serious injury and death,” Mr Gillard said.
“Licensed pyrotechnicians understand the dangers associated with fireworks. They know the size of exclusion zones required before fireworks can be set off, they understand the physical risks associated with handling fireworks, and they take into account other factors such as the weather conditions and fire risk information from local emergency services.”
Mr Gillard said as well as facing hefty financial penalties, people planning to set off backyard fireworks put themselves, their families and their neighbours at serious risk.
“Seeing in the New Year is a time for celebration. It should not be a time spent mourning the loss of a loved one or friend who has been killed as a result of irresponsible behaviour with illegal backyard fireworks.”
“The potential consequences are just not worth it.”
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said illegal fireworks and dry grass were a bad combination.
“Fires started by illegal fireworks can spread quickly, threatening lives and homes within minutes.”
Mr Gillard said the message was simple.
“If you or someone you know has illegal fireworks, arrange for their collection by contacting the VWA on 1800 136 089.”
Information about the sale of illegal fireworks can be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or by submitting a confidential crime report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.
For further information about fireworks and your legal obligations, go to vwa.vic.gov.au.
Media contact: Victorian WorkCover Authority: Kate Fawcett – (03) 9641 1809 or 0478 305 640.