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New Years Eve 2018 - Buy fireworks and tips for safe fireworks

New Year's Eve without fireworks is out of the question for many people - on average, Germans spend over 100 million euros on pyrotechnics. Here you can find out from when to when you can buy your fireworks and when you can start firing. You can also read expert tips for safe firecrackers and what to look out for.

Fireworks on New Year's Eve: When to shoot in Germany

In Germany fireworks are only lit on New Year's Eve December 31st to January 1st allowed. According to the Explosives Act, the times are from midnight on December 31st to midnight on January 1st.

In the 48-hour window, rockets, firecrackers and other class 1 and 2 fireworks can be ignited (more information on this below). However, cities and municipalities can decide on the exact time and location of the bang themselves.

Anyone who wants to roar outside the permitted period needs a special permit. If you ignite fireworks outside of the permitted period and without special permission, you risk fines.

When can I buy fireworks?

No fireworks may be set off outside of the permitted periods without a special permit. Therefore, the sale of class 2 fireworks (rockets, firecrackers, etc.) is limited to the period immediately before New Year's Eve.

Class 2 fireworks may generally only be sold from December 29th and until December 31st. There is an exception if December 29th falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Then, like this year, sales will be permitted from December 28th. On December 31st, however, the shops are only open half a day.

Who can buy fireworks?

The sale of class 2 fireworks to minors is strictly prohibited!

Class 1 fireworks, on the other hand, may be sold throughout the year. In addition, the sale of articles belonging to this class in Germany to people aged 12 and over is permitted.

Class 1 and 2 fireworks? That is the difference

A basic distinction is made between four classes of fireworks (the term “category” is now officially used). For private sale and use, however, only classes 1 and 2 are relevant.

• Class 1 fireworks (category F1 or small fireworks): joke items, snap peas, table fireworks, etc.

• Class 2 fireworks (Category F2 or small fireworks): New Year's Eve rockets, firecrackers, fountains, Roman lights, etc.

• Class 3 fireworks (Category F3 or medium fireworks): Fireworks that can only be bought and set off with special permission.

• Fireworks of class 4 (category F4 or large fireworks): Fireworks that may only be set off by trained pyrotechnicians and with official announcement.

Where is gunfire allowed and forbidden?

Incidentally, firing is prohibited in many inner-city areas: near hospitals, old people's or children's homes or churches. Pay attention to the local regulations.

Beware of illegal firecrackers and rockets

Experts warn against buying illegal firecrackers and rockets, most of which come from Eastern Europe and flood the market every year. These products are extremely dangerous because they often contained something called a lightning bolt phrase.

In addition, the unapproved firecrackers contain more black powder and the attached fuses are too short, according to experts. This could lead to premature ignition. Every year there are reports of accidents with extremely serious injuries or even fatal consequences.

Such fireworks are not only extremely dangerous - anyone who imports them into Germany is also liable to prosecution. Violations can be punished with a fine or even a prison sentence.

Buy fireworks: only tested firecrackers and rockets!

Buyers of firecrackers and rockets should only access tested fireworks and buy them from specialist dealers. Buyers can recognize tested pyro articles by the CE mark (for European directives) and by the registration number. It begins with the identification number of the test center.

The Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), for example, has the 0589. This is followed by the above-mentioned fireworks category (F1 or F2) and a consecutive number. A complete registration number can be 0589-F2-1254, the BAM cites as an example. The CE mark is also combined with the identification number of the test center.

Tips for safe firecrackers

Even tested firecrackers and rockets should be treated with respect and do not belong in the hands of children. According to the experts, the minimum age for dealing with category F1 fireworks is 12 years and for F2 it is 18 years. Firecrackers should be carefully and immediately thrown away after igniting.

Rockets, thunder and cannon strikes should never be ignited out of hand. When the fireworks burn down, a safety distance of eight meters should be maintained.

Fireworks on New Year's Eve: take precautionary measures

Windows, patio and balcony doors and skylights should keep tenants closed on New Year's Eve so that no rocket can get lost in the house, experts advise. It is not a good idea to fire rockets or firecrackers on the balcony; house entrances or stairwells are also unsuitable places for this. Burned fireworks and firecrackers do not belong in the waste paper - they have to be disposed of in the residual waste.

Firecracker: Don't pick up duds

Unexploded fireworks should be left on the ground. They can explode much later and cause serious injury, experts warn.

Should there be minor burn injuries, it is important not to cool with ice-cold water straight away, but as an initial measure to use around 20 degrees warm water to cool the injury. The hypothermia from the too cold water could cause even more serious injuries, according to doctors.

From RND / tr / js