Friday 16 November, 2018

Ministry: Police permits needed for fireworks in towns

As the Emancipation and Independence holidays approach, the police service is warning citizens in urban spaces that a police permit is needed in order to light fireworks. 

In a statement issued Tuesday, the Ministry of National Security reminded citizens of the Fireworks Permits Regulations within the Summary Offences Act which stated that persons seeking to light fireworks in a town must apply to the Commissioner of Police or any Superintendent of Police with the time, place and conditions of the event. 

"Regulation 2 of the Fireworks Permits Regulations made under Section 101 of the Act, states that “The Commissioner of Police or any Superintendent of Police authorised by him in writing may grant to any person or persons a written permission prescribing the time, place and conditions at or on which such person or persons may throw, cast, set fire to or let off any firework or fireworks in a town. The Commissioner or Superintendent of Police so granting permission may at any time cancel or vary such permission”."

Under the Act, any 'town' refers to Port of Spain, San Fernando, Arima, as well as any area within two miles of these cities, or any borough or place declared by the Minister to be a town, or deemed to be included within a town. 

Section 100 of the Act says "any person who throws, casts, sets fire to, or lets off any fireworks into, in, or upon any street not being in any town, or into, in, or upon any place being within sixty feet of the centre of any such street, is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars".

The Ministry also urged the public to take proper safety measures when using fireworks in order to help prevent accidents and injury.

"The Ministry offers the following fireworks general safety tips:

- The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks.

- If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area and seek to obtain the necessary permission.

- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.

- Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.

- Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.

- Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a device is not marked with the contents, direction and a warning label, do not light.

- Supervise children around fireworks at all times.

- If possible keep pets indoors. If you prefer to keep your pets outside, take steps to ensure their enclosure/kennel is comfortable and securely locked."

If anyone is spotted lighting fireworks illegally they are urged to report the matter to the police on 555 or 999, or anonymously on 800-TIPS. 


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