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Move to ban large fireworks by 2010

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Move to ban large fireworks by 2010
09:59 CET+01:00
The Swedish Rescue Services Agency (Räddningsverket) is considering a ban on large rockets and explosive fireworks.

The agency is examining Sweden's own classification system as an EU-wide effort is underway to streamline the classification of fireworks. The result of the Swedish effort will likely lead to a ban on sales of large rockets and explosives to individuals starting in 2010.

“Its clear that one has to question whether products with the power to kill people should be offered without requiring a permit,” said Torkel Schlegel of Räddningsverket to Dagens Nyheter.

The EU currently has three levels of classification for consumer market fireworks based on how dangerous the product is. The third category—fireworks with a medium-high risk level—may be kept off the Swedish market following a Räddningsverket decision.

Sweden already has several laws to reduce the risk of firework-related accidents. For example, permits are required to shoot off fireworks when there is a risk that injuries could occur.

However, as few Swedes actually obtain permits, most New Year's fireworks launchings by individuals in highly populated areas are illegal according to Lars Tonneman of the police.

“The police only have resources to look into the most serious crimes. Because the punishment [for launching fireworks illegally] is a fine, they are not made a priority,” he said.

Justice Minister Beatrice Ask declined to respond to questions from DN on whether the current set of laws and penalties are sufficient.

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