112 urges responsible use of pyrotechnics

All items must be purchased from authorised dealers.

Emergencias 112 Andalucía, a service attached to the Regional Ministry of the Presidency, Interior, Social Dialogue and Administrative Simplification of the Andalusian Regional Government headed by Antonio Sanz, reminds citizens of the importance of using pyrotechnic material responsibly as the best preventive measure to avoid accidents during Christmas.

112 stresses that it is necessary to promote self-protection behaviours that help prevent emergency situations, so that the festive days can be enjoyed safely, while stressing the need to maintain preventive habits that minimise risks to people, property and the environment with some simple tips on good practices to know the main risks.

The single, comprehensive emergency coordination centre for the whole of Europe stresses the value of understanding that pyrotechnics are never a toy and should therefore always be handled with all possible caution and should not be used by children. If they do use them, they should always be under the close supervision of an adult. Furthermore, they should always be purchased from authorised establishments that comply with all quality and safety guarantees.

Their use is not child’s play,” stresses the emergency coordination service, “and they can be extremely dangerous.

Products by age

112 reminds that all pyrotechnic products must comply with current legislation in terms of classification and the age of the child in the choice of material. Children under 12 years of age, -recalls Emergencias 112 Andalucía-, cannot handle any type of pyrotechnic element, with the exception of percussion pistons for toys.

Those over 12 years of age, however, can only use category or class 1, commercially known as bombitas, stick flares, jets or flying flares. From the age of 16, class 2 can be handled (wheels, whistling tubes, bells, flares, suns or shells), while those over 18 can buy and use category 3.

Handling

The safest way to throw the most common products, such as firecrackers, flares or small bombs, is always to do it on the ground, away from any part of the body to avoid burns and explosions in the hands or face. Under no circumstances should they be placed in rubbish bins, drains, cans, bottles or containers that can cause shrapnel and multiply their harmful effects.

112 also stresses the importance of respecting the safety zone and moving away from the firecracker once the fuse has been lit. It should be borne in mind in this regard that items with longer fuses offer more guarantees of safety when lighting them. At this point it is essential to underline that if a firecracker does not light properly, it should not be used again. If this happens, the safest thing to do is to leave it for thirty minutes and wet it with water to prevent it from exploding spontaneously.

Before using any type of pyrotechnic article, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow them at all times. Pyrotechnics should never be kept in pockets, as they can cause serious burns due to unexpected combustion, and it is also advisable not to smoke in the vicinity or use them under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Places

The service attached to the Regional Ministry of the Presidency, Interior, Social Dialogue and Administrative Simplification of the Junta also points out that the choice of location for the use of pyrotechnic material should also be chosen with caution. It should never be used in enclosed spaces such as homes, premises or public establishments. The most advisable place to throw them is in open, safe spaces, away from busy areas, houses, rubbish bins, street furniture and away from crowds of people and animals.

Under no circumstances should firecrackers or other flammable items be thrown from balconies or windows. Their use in this way can injure pedestrians and cause fires in trees, hedges and other dwellings. Also, do not throw firecrackers or other flammable items from rooftops because they can ignite clothes when they come into contact with them.

If we are at home and pyrotechnic material is being used in the street, the best thing to do is to close the doors and windows to prevent firecrackers and flares from entering our home.

The coordination centre also calls for responsibility when there are animals and pets in the vicinity, and remembers that their hearing is more sensitive than that of humans and they suffer more stress.

In the event that we are in places of leisure and restoration, 112 advises not to use pyrotechnics under any circumstances. Instead, the festivities can be enlivened by the appropriate use of LED lights or glow sticks that do not involve the use of flame or gunpowder.

Burns

In the event of a burn, it is recommended to wash the affected area with cold water and, if it is serious, go to a health centre or request help via 112.

Emergencias 112 Andalucía recalls, in summary, the need to use this type of articles responsibly and with caution, and stresses the importance of knowing the regulations of each municipality, as well as the authorised days and time slots to respect the rest of others without forgetting the impact they have both in areas with sick people, people with functional diversity and also in pets. In the event of any dangerous situation, call 112, a single emergency telephone number, free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, which is also available in English, French, German and Arabic.

 

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