DMP ignites crackdown on fireworks in lead up to Australia Day

Anyone found in possession of fireworks without a licence will be referred to police.
Date: Tuesday, 20 January 2015

DMP reminds WA public that it’s illegal to possess fireworks without a licence. 

In the lead up to the State’s annual Skyworks events, Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is reminding people that it is illegal to possess fireworks in Western Australia without an appropriate fireworks licence.

DMP’s Dangerous Goods division issued the warning that anyone involved in the illegal storage, transportation and/or use of fireworks is being targeted and will be referred to police if caught.

DMP Dangerous Goods Team Leader Erin James said that 84 people had been charged with illegal possession of fireworks in WA since January 2012.

“Fireworks are extremely dangerous and must be stored, transported and used safely as they can cause serious injuries including burns or blindness, and can unfortunately even be fatal,” Miss James said.

“Fireworks can be very dangerous if used by people who aren’t trained professionals.

“If you are in possession of fireworks or know someone who is, please don’t touch them - call the police who will ensure they’re safely removed.

“Do not dispose of fireworks in the rubbish bin, as this puts council workers and the public at risk.”

Recently the Yarloop Volunteer Bushfire Brigade, along with three other brigades and Department of Parks and Wildlife fire fighters, gave up their New Year’s Eve to fight a fire started by the illegal use of fireworks and flares.

While the fire ultimately only caused damage to fences and fortunately didn’t cause injury or damage to houses, the incident highlighted the potential danger that fireworks can cause when used by people who aren’t correctly trained.

DMP Dangerous Goods Inspectors will be monitoring Australia Day events to ensure that the approved fireworks displays are conducted safely.

These displays are set up and run by trained professionals who understand the risks fireworks pose and put in the appropriate controls to mitigate these risks.

Such events are established in conjunction with local councils, Police and fire and emergency services to ensure contingency plans are in place to protect the public.

Information on storage, transport and handling of explosives and fireworks can be found on the Department of Mines and Petroleum website.

The list of approved fireworks events can also be viewed on the Department of Mines and Petroleum website.