BEIRUT: Interior Minister Marwan Charbel banned the use of firecrackers and restricted the use of fireworks in a statement carried by the National News Agency Monday.
Charbel’s statement said that the phenomenon of setting off fireworks during all occasions, particularly social, national and religious ones, has become common across the country.
According to the statement, the ministry has decided to curb this phenomenon as it poses a danger to public safety, increases the risk of the outbreak of fires – especially in the summer – and disturbs people, especially at night in residential neighborhoods.
Firecrackers are strictly prohibited while fireworks are permitted under strict conditions starting Aug. 1, the statement said. The conditions stipulate that fireworks be set off by specialists, and that everyone else, especially minors, are removed from the launching area.
Other conditions include that fireworks should be placed in special boxes in small quantities and that the boxes should be tightly closed. People should refrain from setting off fireworks in residential areas and launch them in spacious areas instead.
The statement also ordered limiting the selling of fireworks to licensed stores and transporting fireworks only at night. Vehicles which transport fireworks must be equipped with fire extinguishers, the statement added.
The statement also set time windows during which fireworks can be lit. In the winter, fireworks can only be set off between 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. and in the summer, between 8:30 p.m. and midnight.
Those who violate the rules set in the Interior Ministry circular, including venues which have hired specialists to set off fireworks and those experts themselves, will be punished in line with Lebanon’s Penal Code.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 26, 2011, on page 4.