Government to ban firecrackers from New Year’s Eve fireworks frenzy

The Dutch government is considering banning some dangerous types of fireworks from this year’s New Year celebrations, according to a report by RTL Nieuws.

The broadcaster said ministers are set to ban small firecrackers from this year and to require firework sellers to provide customers with safety glasses and secure launching systems for rockets.

Last year the Dutch safety board OVV said firecrackers and rockets should be banned during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in order to cut back on injuries and damage to property.

Some 500 people end up at accidents and emergency departments with serious injuries during the New Year’s Eve firework frenzy, making it the most dangerous time of the year in many places, the board said.

Ministers do not want to go as far as the safety board but are planning to ban small firecrackers, known as rotjes in Dutch, RTL said.

A spokesman for the Dutch insurance association told RTL the ban will make no difference. ‘The damage caused at New Year, which runs to between €10m and €15m a year, is due to vandalism… and often due to illegal fireworks.’

Firework sellers said the ban would only lead to more illegal fireworks being smuggled into the Netherlands from abroad.

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