Increasing support for a fireworks ban in the Netherlands
A proposal for a general ban on fireworks for consumers is gaining support, according to a study by the research agency Citisens. Following an increased number of injuries this year, proponents of the ban suggest that fireworks should only be operated by professionals.
Study shows growing support for fireworks ban
A study conducted by the Citisens shows that support for a general ban on consumer fireworks is steadily rising. Of the 7.000 people surveyed, 69 percent now support the ban, which is up from 58 percent over the Christmas period. 73 percent of the ban’s proponents are women, compared to 64 percent men.
The rise in support for the ban comes after two people died in the early hours of New Year’s Day in a flat fire caused by fireworks, with two others left critically injured. Furthermore, it was announced that nearly 1.300 people suffered firework-related injuries, about 100 more than last year.
Online petition gaining traction
An online petition, set up to ban the use of consumer fireworks, was started in 2014 and has slowly received tens of thousands of signatures. In the first few days of 2020, more than 50.000 people signed the petition, taking the number up to more than 250.000.
The petition has gained support from notable individuals and organisations including insurance providers, political parties, animal rights activists as well as workers in the healthcare system. The petition argues that fireworks should only be operated by professionals, citing the annual “personal and social misery and material damage.”
According to the Association of Pyrotechnics Netherlands (BPN), people in the Netherlands purchased a record-breaking 77 million euros worth of fireworks for NYE this year. This led to 15 million euros worth of damage caused by fireworks, according to the Dutch Association of Insurers.
Opposition from the firework industry
The fireworks industry is obviously against a ban on consumer fireworks. The BPN argues that fireworks should not be grouped together and that certain fireworks should be for professional use only, while others are fit for consumers.
The BPN wants to improve consumer behaviour regarding firework usage and promote the use of safety equipment. A spokesperson for the BPN, Marcel Teunissen, said that since last year, mounts are supplied with rocket fireworks and the industry is set on improving the safety of products where possible.