Mirko (16) suffered firecracker burns during last year's winter holidays, without even using the firecrackers. He was in the company of those who used firecrackers improperly, in order to make them "explode harder". Mirko is only one of about 30 citizens of Serbia who are injured yearly during the New Year and Christmas holidays due to improper handling of pyrotechnics.
According to the data of the Ministry of Interior (MoI of Serbia), every third injured person did not even use pyrotechnics during the holidays. "On average, there are about 30 injured people in Serbia every year around New Year and Christmas. "Sometimes that number is higher or lower, but on average, about 30 people a year get burns, minor or severe bodily injuries due to improper use of firecrackers and fireworks," said the Serbian Ministry of the Internal Affairs. Furthermore, it is added that during the last five years, more than 250 citizens have been injured in that manner. Unfortunately, it is sometimes enough for someone to be close to irresponsible users of pyrotechnics to get wounded. In addition, these injuries often happen to be permanent (injuries to fingers, hands, eyes, ears, face).
Pyrotechnic products must be used exclusively in accordance with the instructions for safe use (indicated on the product or packaging) in order to avoid any kind of injury. Also, children under 14 are not allowed to buy or use pyrotechnics. In general, these products can be used at a safe distance, which means that, in the time and the area of the activation, there must be no passers-by, children, animals or flammable and sensitive objects which can be damaged by firecrackers or other pyrotechnics. Professional fireworks can be legally bought and fired only by trained experts and at an approved location with a decision issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia.
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.
It is important to emphasize that removal of barriers is achieved by harmonizing national product regulations, which ensures equal treatment of products, increasing competitiveness, lower prices and greater choice for consumers, and makes an equal level of protection of public health, consumers and the environment throughout the European internal market certain.
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.