Use of fireworks prohibited in residential areas

Otis Daniels_Finck
Swakopmund • [email protected]

The use or exploding of fireworks within a local authority area is prohibited as stipulated in section 3 of the Local Authorities Act and section 10.3 of the Explosives Regulation. The regulation prohibits persons from selling or dealing in blasting materials and fireworks unless they have a license issued by an inspector and except by the condition contained in such a license.

Ailie Gebhardt, the corporate officer for marketing, corporate services and human capital issued a notice on 17 December reminding residents that the law states that it is illegal to use or explode fireworks in any place within a town or city, including private homes or gardens, except with prior permission from the local authority. “Fireworks poses a huge safety risk. It also traumatises pets and small children. The use of any kind of fireworks in residential areas is a criminal offence and if anyone would make themselves guilty thereof he/she will be dealt with accordingly.”

Gebhard also called for public cooperation to prevent the unauthorised use of fireworks within residential areas by reporting offenders to the relevant authorities such as the Traffic Section or Nambian Police. The Swakopmund Police can be contacted on 064 415 004, traffic services on 0811467/8/9; and the emergency toll-free number on 064 0800 410

Sergeant Ana Frans of the community affairs unit of the Erongo police said that any person who by any act or omission commits a breach of these regulations shall be guilty of an offence.

“Such a person can be fined N$ 600 or face imprisonment of a period not exceeding 12 months or both.” Frans highlighted that no cases involving the illegal setting-off of fireworks were reported last year. In the not do distant past, four persons sustained injuries due to fireworks.

The use of fireworks is controlled in terms of the Explosive Act of 1956 which states that no person shall sell or deal in blasting materials and fireworks unless he has a license issued by an inspector and except with the conditions of that license.

Frans added that there has been a notable decrease in the use of fireworks over the past two years. “The illegal sale of fireworks is prohibited. No person under the age of 18 is allowed to be in possession and to set off fireworks. People should adhere to the law because fireworks can cause injuries if not used correctly.”

SPCA

According to Ingrid Gürtel the manager of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Swakopmund, the hearing of animals is very sensitive. “That sudden bang frightens them and they start running until they can't hear any of those loud bangs anymore. This results in pets getting lost.” She urged the community to keep their pets indoors and a herbal remedy at hand to help keep them calm. She also advised people who go on holiday to make sure there is always enough fresh water, food and a warm shelter for their pets. “A daily walk on the leach will lead to less frustrated locked up doggies. Therefore dogs and cats can be boarded with us.”

Contact the SPCA on 064 494419, +264 81 477 4395 or send an email to [email protected]