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November 01, 2013

Celebrating Guy Fawkes responsibly


Unsupervised fireworks displays pose a fire risk. Photo courtesy Amani Hasan

Guy Fawkes, the night many celebrate the thwarted efforts to blow up the British Houses of Parliament in 1605, is fast approaching. And the City of Cape Town is urging residents to act responsibly during their festivities on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

Unsupervised fireworks displays pose a fire risk and the accompanying noise can cause a lot of distress to animals. Confused, some pets stray from their homes and are struck or killed in oncoming traffic.

In an effort to promote responsible behaviour and reduce fire risks and noise levels at this time, the City of Cape Town has demarcated certain locations where residents can set off fireworks. Discharging fireworks anywhere outside of these designated sites is illegal and offenders will face arrest.

Residents should only buy fireworks from licensed vendors and avoid roadside purchases, and children should never be left alone with these explosives. Pet owners are advised to keep their animals indoors, to close windows and draw curtains after sunset to reduce the discomfort pets experience when fireworks are discharged.

The City has identified and made available the following eight designated areas where members of the public may discharge shop-bought fireworks. These sites will be closely monitored by public safety authorities:

  • Bishop Lavis Sportsfield, Lavis Drive, Bishop Lavis
  • Wesfleur Sportsfield, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis
  • Macassar Beach parking area, Macassar Road, Macassar
  • Swartklip Sports Complex, corner Spine and Swartklip Roads, Mitchells Plain
  • Maidens Cove parking area, Victoria Road, Camps Bay
  • Athlone Stadium parking area (Eastern side), Klipfontein Road, Athlone
  • Strandfontein Pavilion, Strandfontein
  • Beachfront opposite Tourism Centre, Table View

Safety tips when discharging fireworks:

  • Only discharge fireworks that are bought at an accredited shop
  • Children must be supervised at all times when around fireworks
  • Do not discharge fireworks indoors
  • Only discharge fireworks at the designated sites
  • Make sure that you discharge the fireworks out of range of spectators and any other structures or vehicles
  • Do not try to re-ignite a "dud" as it could explode near your hands or face
  • Only light one at a time
  • Do not make your own fireworks
  • Only use fireworks as directed by the instructions printed on the package
  • Do not light fireworks inside any type of container
  • Never discharge fireworks whilst under the influence of intoxicating substances

The telephone number to call to report a fire is 107 from a land-line and 021 480 7700 from a cellular telephone.

Members of the public with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks can report the information to the Metro Police Call Centre on 0860-POLICE (765423) or to the SAPS on 10111.

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