With fireworks-heavy holidays approaching, remember to follow the KDM bylaws

Guy Fawkes marks the first of 2020’s celebrations that are likely to feature fireworks displays.

There are a number of KwaDukuza Municipality (KDM) bylaws that may be pertinent for residents who are looking to set off fireworks in the coming months.

The discharge of fireworks within the municipal area is unlawful with the exception of the following days:

– Guy Fawkes (5 November)

– The Diwali Festival (12 – 16 November)

– New Year’s Day (1 January between 12 pm and 2am)

The sale and discharge of the following are explicitly banned:

– Firecrackers larger than 50mm long and 12mm in diameter.

– Match crackers or match strike.

– Firecrackers commonly known as “Bombs” eg, Indian King, King India, Classic Foils etc.

In addition fireworks cannot be sold to children under the age of 16.

Similarly, no children under the age of 16 are allowed to handle or use fireworks, except if they are supervised by an adult.

Fireworks are also prohibited in certain areas, including inside buildings, on agricultural holdings, at schools, old-age homes and hospitals, and within 500 metres of an explosives factory, explosives storage or petrol station.

If you are going to set off fireworks in your backyard, KDM bylaws state they must be at least 20 meters from the nearest telephone, power line, tree or overhead obstruction.

While the bylaws allow fireworks to be set off between 12am on New Year’s Eve until 2am on New Year’s day, to stage a fireworks display, permission must be sought in writing from the KwaDukuza municipality or from the chief fire officer in the region.

It is advisable for the application to reach the municipality or the chief fire officer in advance to allow members of the public to launch any objections.

There may be requirements that fireworks displays be presented only on premises designated as suitable by the council and under the supervision and control of an official designated by the council.

On days of cultural and religious celebrations, no permission is required to use fireworks, but it must be done within the times stipulated – these days include the Hindu holiday of Diwali and Guy Fawkes.

SPCA spokesperson, Michelle Hannan also urged the public to not set off fireworks near animals and to keep pets indoors and medicated if necessary.

“Make sure your animal is inside and safe. This is key to making sure your animals don’t injure themselves or run away and get lost or injured,” said Hannan.

Those planning their own fireworks shows are urged to keep in mind the dangers inherent in their use, and to remember safety tips:

– Pick a site that is appropriate for lighting the crackers;

– Safety is a priority and clothes must be resistant to fire;

– Check the wind direction before starting the display; and

– Pick up all the remains of the fireworks and keep them out of children’s reach.

– In addition, revelers should read the instructions provided with each firework.

Never throw ignited crackers at animals, always stand well back, never return to a cracker once it has been lit because it might go off in your face, always give fireworks plenty of room to explode, always light crackers in an open space, be considerate and don’t endanger other members of the public.

To report a contravention of the fireworks bylaws, contact the KDM control room on 060 714 3764 or 032 946 2711.

You can also call KDM’s designated fire protection officer, Peter Harris on 072 264 9592.