Dubai: If you were thinking of celebrating Eid this year by bursting firecrackers, think again. Not only will you be violating UAE’s laws on the use of ammunition and hazardous materials, but you could also risk your health and life.
So, if you want to know more about the dangers you face when bursting firecrackers and how you can report the illegal use of these items, here is our detailed guide on what the UAE’s laws say.
In an advisory posted on social media by Dubai Police on April 16, residents were warned against bursting firecrackers during Eid. The police informed residents that while the idea of bursting firecrackers might seem like fun, it could result in disastrous consequences.
According to Dubai Police, the consequences include serious and permanent damage, such as loss of fingers, burning of face and limbs, blindness and even death.
In a breakdown showing how firecracker related injuries hurt people, Dubai Police explained that a third of injuries affect people’s hands and fingers, while another third are related to the eyes and face.
Police authorities have consistently issued warnings regarding the dangers of firecrackers and urged parents to control their children and prevent them from using these hazardous materials during the Eid Al Fitr celebrations.
Last year, Abu Dhabi Police said that while the use of firecrackers begins with entertainment, more often than not it ends in a tragedy.
According to the police, use of firecrackers damages eyes because of their toxic fumes, which can lead to loss of vision, and sometimes it may cause house fires.
"Some social media users offer firecrackers at low prices, and mask their hazards by highlighting their supposed entertainment value. The end can however be very tragic, and even lead to serious eye injuries among users, not to mention the damage to property,” the Abu Dhabi Police has said.
What does the law say?
On April 15, the UAE Public Prosecution also issued a warning, in particular, to parents, who allow children to purchase and burst firecrackers, stating: “Fireworks pose a grave threat to children’s safety, and they may cause serious injuries. Parents have an important role in raising their children’s awareness about its risks and preventing them to play with fireworks, no matter their age."
In the UAE, Federal Decree-Law No. (17) of 2019 Concerning Weapons, Ammunition, Explosives, Military Hardware and Hazardous Materials regulates the use of explosive items such as firecrackers.
Article 3 of the Federal Decree-Law, states that the acquisition, possession, transport, carriage, manufacturing, and repair of explosives or explosive devices is prohibited without regulatory approval.
According to Article 57 of Federal Decree-Law No. (17) of 2019 Concerning Weapons, Ammunition, Explosives, Military Hardware and Hazardous Materials, any person who uses weapons or models and structures simulating or are designed to resemble weapons or explosives to threaten others shall be punished with imprisonment and a fine, or either of them.
Article 54 of the same law stipulates that anyone who, without a licence, trades in, imports, exports, manufactures or transports fireworks faces imprisonment for at least a year and/or a fine of at least Dh100,000.
How to report illegal use of firecrackers
To report the use of fireworks in Dubai, you can call the Dubai Police call centre 901.
Last year, Abu Dhabi Police had appealed to the public to cooperate and report people and shops that promote fireworks by calling the emergency phone 999 or toll-free number 8002626.
The complainant’s details will be kept confidential, police said.