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Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR)
Safety In Use Of Fireworks
Safety In Use Of Fireworks

Safety In Use Of Fireworks

As the festive season approaches, adverse incidents related to the use of fireworks can be expected to rise. It must be emphasised that consumer fireworks, which can be used by public, are inherently dangerous, especially when handled carelessly and negligently. Fireworks are capable of inflicting serious bodily injuries and causing extensive damage to property and some times disasters.

In order to curb adverse incidents resulting from the use of fireworks, the Department of Mines wishes to inform the public that consumer fireworks of general use fireworks category are generally safe for use by a person provided that the person is 18 years or older or uses them under the supervision of a person of 18 years or older.

General use fireworks are the consumer fireworks that include toy pistol caps, starting pistol caps, amorces, wheels, ground spinners, fountains, sparklers or Roman candles up to 0.8 inches (20 mm) inner diameter, mines, firecrackers up to 2 inches (50 mm) length and novelties. Novelties include novelty matches, party poppers, snaps, snakes and smoke bombs (not containing explosives).

Private use of consumer fireworks does not require permission from the Department of Mines. However, a person who intends to buy or import restricted fireworks (consumer fireworks other than general use fireworks) for private use:

(a)          In the case of purchase of restricted fireworks locally: The person has to contact the dealer and fill an obligation form before buying such fireworks.

(b)          In the case of importation of restricted fireworks from a foreign country: The person has to fill an obligation form and submit it to the Department of Mines with the application for obtaining a permit to import of such fireworks.

A person who intends to use fireworks for a public display (using any fireworks) requires obtaining an authorisation to use fireworks from the Department of Mines.

The members of the public are hereby advised to buy fireworks only from shops and supermarkets that have valid licence and permit to deal in fireworks issued by the Department of Mines.

Members of the public should take the following precautions with respect to fireworks while using them:

1.            Unlabelled fireworks should not be bought or used, and instructions on fireworks labels should be followed carefully.

2.            Neighbours should be advised of intention to use fireworks and the use of fireworks should not discomfort them.

3.            Children under the age of 18 years should use fireworks only under the direct supervision of an adult.

4.            Before firing fireworks the wind direction should be checked for the safety of others and of the person firing the fireworks.

5.            Fireworks should not be used in close proximity to petroleum depots, petrol filling stations, retail premises for liquefied petroleum gas containers or any other inflammable substance.

6.            Fireworks should not be used where there is overhead obstruction such as overhead power line, structure, lamppost, etc.

7.            Fireworks should not be used in close proximity to hospitals and clinics.

8.            Fireworks should only be used in clear open spaces away from dry grass or materials that can easily catch fire; however, the fireworks manufactured for indoor use can be used indoor as per instructions indicated on them.

9.            Fireworks should not be put inside clothes pockets.

10.          Fireworks should not be pointed at or thrown at other persons.

11.          Fuses and wrappings of fireworks should not be tampered with.

12.          During use, light the end of the fuse at arm’s length, preferably with a safety firework lighter or match rather than a gas cigarette lighter, and then stand well back.

13.          Where a firework fails to go off after ignition, leave it for at least 10 minutes before approaching it, and then immerse it in a bucket of water before disposal. Do not attempt to reignite.

14.          Pets should be kept indoors during the use of fireworks.

15.          Fireworks should be stored away from ignition sources, and out of the reach of children.

For further information on the use of fireworks or in the case of an accident related to fireworks, please contact:

Department of Mines

Gaborone: 3657000

Francistown: 2450200



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