Abu Dhabi: Parents must ensure that children do not illegally buy firecrackers for the Eid celebrations in light of the safety risks they pose.
As a cautionary note, the Abu Dhabi Police has warned that certain social media users illegally sell firecrackers online, even though their sale is banned across the UAE. So while authorities will keep an eye on physical stores, parents must ensure that children do not purchase the explosive devices online.
“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.
According to Police experts, firecrackers are not regulated substances, and they can also emit hazardous gases when burst. These gases can affect the respiratory system of those in the vicinity. In addition, the devices can cause burns for users. In addition, many instances of property damage have been noted when firecrackers are used.
In the past, the UAE has seen accidents from firecracker use that involved massive fires, lost appendages, vision loss and even fatalities.
What the law says
Under Federal Law No 17 of 2019, the possession, acquisition, carrying, import, transit, production and transportation of any ammunition or explosive is banned, except under special provisions. Article No 54 of the Law stipulates a minimum jail sentence of a year, a minimum fine of Dh100,000, or both for anyone found trading in or manufacturing explosives, the UAE Public Prosecution has highlighted this week. The Abu Dhabi Police has therefore advised parents to highlight the risks posed by firecrackers, and to be vigilant about the activities their children are involved in during the holiday period.
Timeline of firecracker accidents
September 17, 2010: A five-year-old girl has been left with painful second-degree burns on her chest and scars for life after playing with firecrackers during the Eid holidays in Abu Dhabi.
March 26, 2008: Two people are killed and five injured when a huge explosion ripped through a warehouse in Al Quoz Industrial area, Dubai. The fire started in a warehouse that stored firecrackers illegally.
October 15, 2005: An 11-year-old boy suffered severe head injuries after an accident involving firecrackers in Dubai. He was playing with his friend when another boy, who was in his parents’ car, opened the window and threw the firecracker.
February 13, 2003: A teenager lost three fingers when the firecracker he was holding exploded in Dibba, Fujairah.
February 06, 2003: Four people died and eight others are missing after a powerful explosion believed to be caused by firecrackers ripped three warehouses apart in Al Quoz, Dubai.
February 03, 2003: The fire which gutted six warehouses have started after some firecrackers went off in Al Awir, Dubai. One worker was burnt to death, two workers carrying the boxes were trapped under a roof that crashed.
December 19, 1999: A 16-year-old girl lost an eye when a firecracker exploded in her face while playing with her cousin in Ajman.
March 22, 1996: A 25-year-old Arab threw a firecracker during a football match between the UAE and Egypt at Al Nasr Stadium in Dubai. It caused the death of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Culture and Information Department.
— Compiled by Abdul Kareem, Head of Archives