BEIRUT: A coalition of local NGOs in collaboration with the Interior Ministry have called for an awareness campaign on the dangers of fireworks Wednesday, urging the implementation of stricter regulations in light of an increasing use of rocket and cracker fireworks recently.
“Why do we allow moments of happiness to result in annoyance and pain for others, to terror, fear and sickness?” asked Fadi Abi Alam, president of the Permanent Peace Movementm in a news conference at the NGO’s headquarters in Mkalles, Mount Lebanon.
“Expressing happiness by using fireworks will often lead to the distress of others because of the sound and smell."
Permanent Peace Movement, YASA and the Lebanese Fire Prevention Committee organized the news conference in collaboration with the Interior Ministry.
The groups reiterated the need for stricter protocols surrounding the use of fireworks and called for the import of firework crackers to be controlled and the establishment of specific time slots for setting off fireworks. They also spoke about the need to abide by rules and protocols banning the use of illegal fireworks, and urged people not to fire fireworks from balconies and narrow streets.
Those present also called for the formation of a unit that coordinates between Internal Security Forces and municipalities to manage the use of fireworks.
“Fireworks known as crackers are banned completely and so is the import of rocket fireworks that exceed 5 inches [in length],” said ISF representative Capt. Rabih Fakhri. He added that “fireworks could be released between 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. from Oct. 15 until April 15, and from 8:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. from the period between April 15 and the [following] October.”
The Interior Ministry in collaboration with local municipalities released a memo in 2012 that stressed the need to ban the use of cracker fireworks and set up a framework regulating their use.