Instead of celebrating the New Year with their friends at the party, Petar and Djordje spent the New Year’s Eve - in the hospital. Their decision to buy firecrackers and fireworks on the street instead of in a shop with pyrotechnic equipment in order to save money and buy more - cost them dearly. Since pyrotechnics purchased on the street are not certain to have passed safety checks and controls, or to have been stored properly, there is no guarantee for safe use. Both boys suffered burns on their hands and spent the New Year holidays suffering the consequences of their irresponsible behavior.
Unfortunately, Petar and Djordje are not isolated cases – citizens repeatedly decide to buy pyrotechnics on the street, without thinking that such products have not been tested. The only right decision is for pyrotechnics to be bought in authorized shops and used according to the instructions which are indicated on the box or on the product itself.
According to the manner and amount of filling, pyrotechnics are divided into four classes - categories. First, second and third class pyrotechnics are on free sale. In the category of the first F1 class are: sprinklers, confetti for firing, fireworks for cakes, small firecrackers (so-called frogs), bees, Bengal matches, corks and ribbons and other similar pyrotechnics. Pyrotechnics of the second and third class, F2 and F3 are: firecrackers, torches, rockets, volcanoes, fountains, lines, firecrackers with flash, fireworks batteries, Roman candles, and these products can only be bought by an adult. However, children under 14 are not allowed to use any pyrotechnic products.
Additionally, pyrotechnic products of the second and third category (F2 and F3) are not allowed to be used indoors or in places where a large number of people gather. The fourth category (F4) products are not intended for free sale to citizens. They can only be used by professionals who are specially trained for proper use (e.g. fireworks). It is observed that serious injuries are frequently obtained if these products are handled by people who are not trained.
Accordingly, professional fireworks, which are in the F4 category, can be legally bought and fired only by trained experts, at an approved location and at an approved time with a decision from the Ministry of the Interior.
In conclusion, buying a pyrotechnic on the street carries great risks and it is not safe to use since it is not sure to be checked and controlled, and the product probably isn’t even stored properly. To make sure that the bought firecrackers and fireworks have gone through the control procedure, properly stored, and thus safe, they should always be bought exclusively in authorized shops.
In order to warn that pyrotechnics should be bought in stores and not on the street so the injuries due to malfunctions are avoided, the campaign "Pyrotechnics are not toys" was launched, and is intended for the safe use and proper purchase of pyrotechnics, within the project "EU for Serbia - support for safer products", whose main beneficiary is the Ministry of Economy. The campaign will last from mid-December to mid-January, when the use of these products is most common.
Through the project "EU for Serbia - support for safer products", the European Union supports the Ministry of Economy and other line ministries in harmonizing the legislation of the Republic of Serbia with the legislation of the European Union in the field of free movement of goods. This domain, along with the freedom of movement of people, services and capital, is one of the fundamental freedoms on which the European Union is founded, because the unique and common market is the core of European integration.
The campaign on pyrotechnics, jointly conducted by the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Internal Affairs within the project "EU for Serbia - Support for Safer Products", is the first of several campaigns on safer products that will be conducted during the project.
The European Union is providing continuous support to Serbia to facilitate removal of technical barriers to trade and ensure alignment with EU best practices and standards in the area of free movement of goods. Several technical capacity projects were implemented amounting to over 10 million € where 4 million € was allocated for supply of laboratory equipment to 10 laboratories and also – Directorate of Measures and Precious Metals.