Ahead of Eid Al Fitr celebrations, the Ministry of Interior launched an awareness drive under the slogan “Ensuring Child Safety during Eid”. The campaign, implemented by the Security Media Department at the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, aims to promote awareness among community members, and acquaint them with the dangers associated with fireworks, especially among children and teenagers; as well as the damages they can cause to property.

Colonel Issa Saeed Al Shamesi, Head of the Weapons and Explosives Department at the Directorate General of the Federal Criminal Police, noted that fireworks are highly dangerous goods with hazardous properties.  He said: “Fireworks pose a significant risk to users and others. They cause deaths, burns and disfigurement as well as permanent disabilities. They also cause environmental pollution and fires, thus threatening the safety of community members and their property. Moreover, the loud noise of firecrackers may cause fear and have dangerous psychological impact on people.”

Colonel Al Shamesi highlighted the ongoing coordination and cooperation with police general headquarters across the country, in order to prevent the illicit sale and import of consumer fireworks. This aims at protecting community members against the risks associated with these dangerous items. He added that the firearms and explosives sections at the different police general headquarters are conducting regular crackdown campaigns and awareness drives throughout the year; especially during national holidays and times of celebration.

He pointed out that the sale of fireworks without a license was punishable by law. “Article 65 of the Law of Firearms, Ammunition, and Explosives stipulates that, ‘Anyone who sells, imports, exports, manufactures, brings or attempts to bring fireworks into the country without a license shall be punished with imprisonment for up to six months, and/or a fine of AED 10,000. Bringing or manufacturing for the purpose of trafficking is considered an aggravating factor’,” he said.

Moreover, Colonel Al Shamesi stressed the need for concerted efforts among institutions, civil society organizations and the various media outlets, in order to raise public awareness on the dangers of using fireworks, as well as their health risks and environmental damage.

In conclusion, Colonel Al Shamesi called upon families to educate their children about the dangers of fireworks, and to advise them to avoid using and sharing them. He added: “Parents ought to supervise the children and deter them from playing with such dangerous items. They should also monitor how their children spend their allowances and report shops selling them illegally through the Aman service on 8002626.”
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