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Using fireworks safely: Handle with care!

Never to children! Fireworks, included those which are sold freely and can be bought in supermarkets, stationary shops and other stores, are NEVER intended for children!

Whoever sells fireworks to minors of 14, also those available to the public, is always criminally negligent.

Children over 14 can buy and use only those fireworks which are available to the public, except those classified as V and IV class, which are intended for duly authorized adult consumers (sometimes they are for professional use only).

No weapons: Shooting with a gun, a pistol and, sometimes, a toy weapon in a public place, besides being very dangerous, is also an offense to be punished by arrest. Consider that a gunshot, and even more so, a rifle-shot, can be harmful at several hundred metres and that shooting into the air IMPLIES the risk of serious injuries and even death.
Therefore, stay away from those who want to "celebrate" in this way and report them to the police immediately.

Dangerous stalls: Always buy fireworks at licensed dealers. Don't buy them at improvised stalls having no license for classified products, and be cautious with unlabelled products without any indications of the Ministry of the Interior's authorization (reference number and date) and no instructions on how to use the product.

Always follow the instructions: Read and follow carefully the instructions for use on the label or on the product notice. Even harmless sparklers, if handled carelessly, may cause serious injuries.

Lighting: Light one firework at a time; when setting them off, check there are no fires nearby. When using fireworks, keep them away from flammable items (curtains, sofas, carpets and rugs, alcohol, petrol, dry brushwood, etc.).

Clothes: Take care of the clothes you wear when using fireworks. Do not wear fleece or synthetic-fibre jackets or sweaters and acetate garments such as jumpsuits. A single sparkle can turn this clothing into a deadly trap.

Out of doors: Only light them out of doors, a long wayfrom houses. Rockets and other artefacts of any kind should never be pointed towards windows or balconies of buildings and people nearby. As for luminous fountains or aerial shells, check the height that the flame or other effects will reach; do not place them under balconies or trees.

Fasten them to a support: If possible, and whether provided for by instructions for use, fasten the firework tightly to a support before lighting it, checking its path is clear, and stand back after lighting to enjoy the show at a distance.

Short fuses: Fireworks' fuses and primers are fairly short and have quite a quick combustion, but they should leave the user the time to stand back after setting off. Even if they appear not to work, don't think the fuse or the primer are unlit. It may occur that the fuse has longer operating times because of a manufacturing fault; this may lead users to approach fire just when this is starting, with serious dangers for personal safety. The use of fireworks having a "quick fuse" intended for professional use (generally included in Class IV) is also very dangerous. In this case the firework ignition is virtually immediate and the user could be hit by the firework's effects.

Failed ignition: In all other malfunction cases, do not touch and do not go close to the firework: it could spark off even after some time and seriously injure users and bystanders.

Unexploded fireworks: If you are near an unexploded firework, do not touch it. Inform law enforcement agencies, even anonymously.

Transport and open flames: Do not transport considerable quantities of unexploded fireworks in a passenger car. Do not handle fireworks near open flames (lighters, matches, cigarettes), neither place nor use them near flammable liquids or gas containers. Professional transport of fireworks must always take place in compliance with the Traffic Code rules and the European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road (ADR).

Anonymous reports: Report to law enforcement agencies any sale to underage children or any other activities which may appear illegal or dangerous.

30/03/2011


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