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Rockets and Firecrackers: Sales of New Year’s Eve fireworks started


The sale of New Year’s Eve fireworks has started in Germany. “We hope that the previous year’s turnover of 137 million euros will be achieved this year too,” announced the Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry (VPI). The sale of fireworks […]

Rockets and Firecrackers: Sales of New Year's Eve fireworks started.  New Year's Eve fireworks (Source: dpa / Christophe Gateau)

The sale of New Year’s Eve fireworks has started in Germany. “We hope that the previous year’s turnover of 137 million euros will be achieved this year too,” announced the Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry (VPI).

The sale of fireworks in the F2 category – this includes Missiles, batteries and firecrackers – has been allowed this year since December 28th, as one of the legally stipulated sales days falls on a Sunday.

According to the association, half of sales are attributable to batteries and composite fireworks, and a fifth to rockets. The share of imported fireworks in sales is 75 percent. The burning of these firecrackers of the F2 category is limited to December 31st and January 1st. Whoever wants to use them must be of legal age. Burning pyrotechnic objects is prohibited in the immediate vicinity of churches, hospitals, children’s and old people’s homes.

State of emergency with the emergency services

Injuries caused by firecrackers could lead to lifelong handicaps, for example, warns the chairman of the German Rescue Service Association (DBRD), Marco K. König. In particular, illegal fireworks from abroad, such as so-called Polish firecrackers, are life-threatening, he says. Most emergencies at the turn of the year are therefore due to excessive alcohol consumption and carelessness.

The rescuers also make violence against the emergency services to create, says König: “If we are pelted with firecrackers and shot at with rockets, we cannot concentrate on patient care.” In some cases, the helpers would even have to drive to the hot spots with the assistance of the police.

It is difficult to say whether the violence against emergency services has increased. “Subjectively yes, but we have no objective evidence,” says König. Every case, including threats of violence, should be reported, he demands. “But my colleagues find it difficult because the prosecution often closes the proceedings. That is then double the burden. ” All in all, the New Year’s Eve missions are “a particular stress” for the rescuers.

Given these massive risks, it’s better to avoid fireworks on New Year’s Eve. You can find out more good reasons here.

Sparkling wine and fireworks are less popular

The current sales figures also show that consumers are rethinking. Accordingly, the traditional companions of a New Year’s Eve party have recently been less popular with German consumers. Sparkling wine, fireworks and carp were less in demand in 2017, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office.

Accordingly, the number of bottles of sparkling wine, champagne and other sparkling wines sold fell by 5.2 percent to 381 million compared to 2016. In the case of fireworks, the amount imported into Germany fell by 2.1 percent to 42,800 tons. This corresponds to a value of 103.6 million euros. The main supplier country was again China in 2017 with a share of 97 percent.

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The custom of eating carp at the turn of the year is more regionally widespread. The amount produced in Germany fell by almost 5.4 percent to around 5,000 tons of freshwater fish, as reported by the statistics office. The main producing countries were Bavaria with 2,000 tons and Saxony with 1,700 tons.

New Year’s Eve fireworks drive up particulate matter levels

And health effects are also reasons to forego the bang on December 31st: At the turn of the year, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) expects high particulate matter emissions from fireworks again. It is expected that around 4,500 tons of fine dust will be released nationwide. That is roughly the same as in previous years, says UBA meteorologist Ute Dauert. “How great the actual fine dust pollution becomes on New Year’s Eve and how quickly it subsides depends on the weather conditions.” Large cities are particularly affected.

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Fine dust – the smallest dirt particles in the air that are mostly invisible to the human eye – is created by combustion processes. Because of the consequences of air pollution for young children, the elderly and the chronically ill, the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) has called for fireworks to be used less or not at all. These groups were particularly prone to coughing and breathing difficulties at the start of the New Year.