New Year’s fireworks safety, rules in Germany

Infographic courtesy of Consumer Product Safety Commission

The New Year is coming up quickly, and chances are there are going to be fireworks involved in your celebration. But, as you likely know, exploding varying chemicals into the air can be a dangerous thing for anyone who handles them (just ask Jason Pierre-Paul of the NFL’s New York Giants).

In Germany on New Years Eve, fireworks are everywhere. Individuals light fireworks all over the city and within local neighborhoods, right outside on the street to celebrate the evening. It’s a spectacular sight to see at a distance, but if you plan to participate, there are a couple of things to remember when setting off fireworks around your kids:

  • Don’t allow your kids access to the fireworks.
  • If you allow them sparklers, make sure you monitor them. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals – and about half of sparkler-related injuries happen to children under age 14, so they’re no joke.
  • Never put any body part directly over a firework device after lighting the fuse, and make sure you back up immediately.
  • Keep a water source handy (like a filled bucket) in case something goes wrong.
  • Don’t ever point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Don’t ever try to relight duds!
  • Once they’re done burning, douse fireworks in water before throwing them out so you don’t cause a trash fire.

Be sure to know what is legal in the town you live in. On-post, individual fireworks of any kind are prohibited. Off-post, fireworks may only be fired from midnight Dec. 31 until Jan. 1. If you don’t want to ruin your neighborhood relationships, it is best to abide by these rules.

According to German law, shops are only allowed to sell fireworks, rockets, wheels or bangers in the time period from Dec. 29 to 31. Except for children’s firecrackers, which are labelled “Klasse I” and may be used all through the year, regular fireworks, “Klasse II” fireworks, can only be purchased by adults. Lighting off fireworks at any other time of year requires special permission from the city you live in.

Find out more about fireworks safety here.

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