GEORGE NEWS - With the holiday season upon us and New Year on the horizon, George Municipality reminds residents and visitors that all forms of fireworks are a major fire risk and are not allowed in public or private spaces in the municipal area.
This applies to fire crackers, flares, paper lanterns and other such paraphernalia. The selling of fireworks is also illegal, and no such permits have been issued or will be issued by the George Municipality.
The illegal trading, possession and/or setting off of fireworks carry fines of R300 and fireworks will be confiscated.
Though the current municipal by-law mentions application for a permit for professional pyrotechnic shows, the fire department stresses that no such permits have been issued for years and they are extremely unlikely to be issued in the foreseeable future.
George fire chief Neels Barnard said reasons for the continued ban in the municipal area include the municipality’s Public Safety and Nuisance by-laws, the overall fire safety and disaster management regulations, and periodic dry and hot conditions of the Western Cape fire season.
The George Municipal Disaster Centre stressed that there had not been designated sites for fireworks in the George municipal area for years and it is unlikely that they will be reinstated.
Paper lanterns hold duel concern. Firstly, they pose a risk of blowing and dropping out of sight and catching fire in vegetation or on flammable material. Secondly, they can lead to a waste of resources, as rescue services are sometimes called out when people incorrectly identify them as emergency flares.
The public is asked to keep in mind that any kind of spark or heat holds a threat – not only fireworks, flares and lanterns – and the disaster centre appeals to people to be responsible and fire-aware wherever they go.
Please exercise extreme caution always, make fires only in protected and designated areas, and dispose of cigarette butts safely.
Please report illegal trade and setting off of fireworks in George to law enforcement on 044 801 6350 or after hours on 044 801 6300.
Please report illegal, irresponsible and unsafe fires to the Fire Department on 044 801 6300.
FIRE EMERGENCIES: 044 801 6311
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'