Play with fireworks and you risk your life

ACTING Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Mark McArdle is urging Queenslanders to stop risking their lives this New Year by playing with fireworks.

Mr McArdle said despite numerous safety warnings, some people are ignoring the danger and still using illegal fireworks.

"Each year we find about 10 Queenslanders suffering injuries that include loss of sight, severe burns and missing fingers due to illegally using fireworks to celebrate the New Year," Mr McArdle said.

"In the past two years, 300 people in Queensland have been prosecuted under the Explosives Act 1999for firework offences.

"Anyone other than a professional operator, who is licensed to handle fireworks, would be putting themselves, friends and family at risk.

"Anyone who has fireworks illegally should surrender them to an explosives inspector by calling 1300 739 868 to arrange for them to be collected, with no questions asked." 

Mr McArdle said fireworks are dangerous and must only be used in a professionally-controlled environment such as approved public fireworks displays arranged by licensed contractors.

"Queenslanders are encourage to attend New Year festivities across the state where licensed firework contractors will be putting on dazzling displays," he said.

"These occasions are always memorable and are often a highlight of the year for many families.

"Anyone caught illegally using or possessing fireworks can and will be prosecuted, with fines of up to $44,000 or six months imprisonment.

"If you know of anyone selling or using fireworks illegally you should contact the Queensland Police Service or your local explosives inspector."

Mr McArdle also reminded householders to consider the impact of fireworks on their pets which can easily be frightened by the sound of fireworks.

"Secure them inside the house or garage, so they'll be comfortable in familiar surroundings - and from which they can't run away in a distressed state," he said.

More information about fireworks in the community is available here.

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