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Fire Dept. approves six permits for fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve

The Fire Department of Sint Maarten, which falls under the Ministry of General Affairs, has approved six permits for firework displays at the start of the New Year.

The displays will take place on January 1st, 2022, at approximately midnight (12:00 am) at the following locations: the Great Bay Boardwalk; Pelican; Simpson Bay Lagoon; Simpson Bay Beach; Maho Beach; and Cupecoy Beach.

A permit to import, transport and sell consumer fireworks has been granted to Firefly Fireworks based on the Vuurwerkbesluit AB2013 GT no18.

Sales started from the 29th until the 31st of December 2022 on the Ring Road across from Bluepoint.

The Fire Department advises all consumers to use caution when lighting consumer fireworks:

- Read the instructions and warnings before usage. The vendor will share these to all customers.

- Protect yourself and those around you. Wear proper eye protection and clothing, also keep the fireworks on a safe distance from flammable material and spectators.

- Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them, combine them nor relight after failure.

- Choose an open area away from gas stations, bulk stations, churches, hospitals, and senior citizens homes.

- Never light fireworks indoors and point it away from homes, brushes, dry grass, and flammable substances.

- Think about your pets.

In the event someone gets injured by fireworks immediately go to a doctor or the hospital.

The Fire Department is cautioning all persons about the risk of buying and lighting fireworks from any vendor as these have not been screened by the Fire Department and therefore may not meet the safety requirements.

Fireworks not sold by a certified vendor are considered illegal fireworks and may not meet the criteria of ignition delay and may have larger explosions or effects than allowed.

Such fireworks can cause severe burns and the loss of fingers, the loss of limbs and life. These illegal fireworks if

ignited too close or inside a building may cause severe damage or the collapse of the aforementioned.

The Police will not hesitate to act accordingly in the case of usage, storage, or sale of illegal fireworks.

The Fire Department together with the Police, Customs and the Coast Guard will be vigilant to ensure that all firework activities at the closing of 2022 are according to the granted permits and used in a safe manner.

The Fire Department would like in advance to thank everybody who has prevented harm or damages by acting responsibly and safe on Sint Maarten and beyond.

The Fire Chief and the entire staff wishes you a healthy and safe 2023.

For any emergencies call: Fire Dept. 919; Police 911; Ambulance 912; Coast Guard 913.

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