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Illegal fireworks warning issued ahead of holidays

Authorities warn using illegal fireworks this festive season could be dangerous.

WorkSafe and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) recently urged holidayers to avoid setting off illegal fireworks because it can put themselves, families, neighbours and the community at risk of serious injury and potentially start major fires.

Since 2012, WorkSafe has seized almost 4 tonnes of illegal fireworks through its powers under the Dangerous Goods Act. In 2016, the authority seized more than 511kg.

Many legal fireworks displays are planned during the festive season, so there is no need for people to risk setting off illegal fireworks or fire crackers.

“Fireworks are banned from use by the general public because they are dangerous in untrained hands. Illegal fireworks can cause serious injury and death,” WorkSafe health and safety executive director Marnie Williams says.

“People opting to sell or use illegal fireworks can face criminal charges and fines. Don’t risk your safety and that of others for what may seem like a good idea at the time.”

Illegal fireworks could also start fires.

“Grassfires pose a significant risk … this summer season with high fuel loads in forests and dry grass across the state,” CFA chief officer Steve Warrington says.

“Please stop for a minute to think about the consequences if a fire starts. While CFA does everything it can, we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires.”

Illegal fireworks can be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or by submitting a confidential crime report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

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