The General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police launched an awareness initiative about the dangers of fireworks within the “Your Safety” campaign which runs through the holy month of Ramadan and the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

Colonel Hamid Al Afrit, Head of the Weapons and Explosives Department at the Directorate General of the Security and Ports Affairs at Abu Dhabi Police, called upon parents to supervise their children`s behavior, and to consider the dangers of using fireworks while celebrating the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.  Colonel Al Afrit said, “Family members bear the major responsibility in advising children to avoid using and sharing fireworks. They ought to supervise the children and deter them from playing with such dangerous items. Parents should also monitor how their children spend their allowances and Eid bounties, and constantly supervise their purchases. Additionally, parents should report vendors and dealers of these items that harm the country and its citizens to the authorities.”

In an effort to explain further, Colonel Al Afrit said, “Fireworks pose a great danger to society, as they can cause fires and other serious injuries. The effects of fireworks can be categorized into three types of dangers that affect financial, health and physical conditions. Financially, the unnecessary purchasing of such dangerous items negatively affects the family`s income, as they are for entertainment only and are not useful. In terms of health, based on reliable medical reports, fireworks are hazardous and harmful to the face, especially to the eyes, which are very sensitive. Their ashes can also cause serious damage to the skin and eyes in cases of direct exposure. Fireworks also emit physical and chemical pollutions, both of which are very dangerous, and the odors emitted when they combust may lead to serious damage.”

Colonel Al Afrit elaborated further on the harms of fireworks if they are improperly stored.  If improperly stored fireworks explode, they can cause injuries to the eyes, fingers, hands or other various body parts, and could lead to permanent disabilities or death.    

He pointed out that there has been a decrease in the volume of incidents with fireworks in the emirate of Abu Dhabi over the past two years as a result of awareness campaigns in the area. Colonel Al Afrit also said that the initiative implemented by the Security Media Department at the General Secretariat of the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, includes providing outreach activities to promote a culture among community members, especially the children and teens. The initiative will highlight the dangers associated with fireworks, or “ashalag,” which is the local term.  

Moreover, the Head of the Weapons and Explosives Department stated that lectures have been organized in schools at the beginning of the last academic year in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and the Western Region. Awareness campaigns and events have also been launched in cooperation with the Department of Community Police and aim to raise awareness concerning the risks of fireworks and the dangers that threaten our children. He also noted that there is sustainable coordination between various retail outlets across the UAE and the Department of Municipal Affairs in the control of shops who have committed violations, and police patrols are additionally monitoring peddlers in residential neighborhoods.

He pointed out that there are penalties set by law for the punishment of trading fireworks without a license.  Article 58 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.”

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