Victorians are being warned of the dangers of using illegal fireworks this festive season.
People planning to set off illegal fireworks put themselves, their families, neighbours and the community at risk of serious injury and have the potential to start significant fires according to MFB, CFA and WorkSafe.
Since 2012, WorkSafe has seized almost 4000kg of illegal fireworks through its powers under the Dangerous Goods Act. This year, it has seized more than 511kg.
WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, said there were many legal fireworks displays being planned across the state during the festive season, so there was no need for people to risk setting off illegal fireworks or fire crackers.
“Fireworks are banned from use by the general public because they are dangerous in untrained hands. Illegal fireworks can cause serious injury and death,” Ms Williams said.
“People opting to sell or use illegal fireworks can face criminal charges and fines. Don’t risk your safety and that of others for what may seem like a good idea at the time.”
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said illegal fireworks not only pose a risk to lives, they could also start fires.
“Grassfires pose a significant risk for Victoria this summer season with high fuel loads in forests and dry grass across the state.
“Please stop for a minute to think about the consequences if a fire starts. While CFA does everything it can, we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires.”
MFB Acting Chief Officer Paul Stacchino said fires started by illegal fireworks can spread quickly, threatening lives and homes within minutes.
“We attended 37 firework-related incidents from 1 December 2015 to 30 Jan 2016, of those 14 were on New Year’s Eve.
“The unpredictable nature of illegal fireworks puts the lives of those lighting them and the firefighters responding at risk. The consequences can be deadly and the damage caused to the community as a result can be catastrophic.”
Information about the sale or use 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.
Anyone in possession of illegal fireworks should contact WorkSafe’s Advisory Service on 1300 136 089 so they can be collected.
WorkSafe Media: 9641 1520
CFA Media: 1300 232 633
MFB Media: 9665 4699
Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.