The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is strongly warning members of the public of its zero tolerance stance on the unauthorised sale and unlawful use of fireworks during the holiday season.
The TTPS notes that over the years there have been several reports of serious injuries to persons engaging in the use of fireworks and unnecessary, sometimes fatal, disturbances to the elderly, convalescing, animals and pets.
The TTPS is also reminding the public of the Public Health Ordinance Regulations which are in place to deal with the Covid-19 Pandemic.
In this regard, Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, advises the public that, while the use of fireworks is not an illegal activity, there are laws in place to restrict the unauthorised sale and misuse of fireworks.
According to the Summary Offences Act Chapter 11:02, Section 99, “any person who throws, casts, sets fire to, or lets off any fireworks within any town is liable to a fine of one thousand dollars.”
Fireworks are not to be used indoors, near dry grass or anywhere that may cause injury to persons, and animals or damage to property and should not be sold to any child under the age of sixteen.
The TTPS will ensure that persons engaged in the sale of fireworks conduct such business under the authority of a licence, and anyone found in contravention of the law will be charged. The TTPS stresses the need for fireworks users to act responsibly and bear safety in mind at all times.
The Summary Offences Act Chapter 11:02
Fireworks in the Town
Section 99. (1) states – Except as prescribed by Regulations under this Act, any person who throws, casts, sets fire to, or lets off any fireworks within any town is liable to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000).
In addition, Section 99. (2) states – In this section and in Sections 100 and 101, “town” includes the City of Port-of-Spain, the City of San Fernando, and the Borough of Arima, and every part of the area within two miles of the boundaries of such City or of either of such Boroughs, and also any place or area declared by the Minister, by Order, to be a town or to be deemed to be included within a town for the purposes of the said sections.
Fireworks Outside of Town
Section 100 states – Any person who throws, casts, sets fire to, or lets off any fireworks into, in, or upon any street not being in any town, or into, in, or upon any place being within sixty feet of the centre of any such street, is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars ($400).
Sale of Fireworks
In accordance with Section 10. (1)- No person other than a wholesale or retail dealer shall sell gunpowder, or offer or expose the same for sale.
Section 10. (2) states- Any person who contravenes the provisions of this section is liable to a fine of two thousand dollars ($2,000).
Inspection of Stock and Books
The following section applies to individuals engaged in the sale of fireworks:
Section 40. (1) states quite clearly – A police officer may at any time when such premises are open for business, enter the premises of any wholesale or retail dealer and inspect all explosives in the stock of the dealer and the receptacles in which the same may be stored, and books kept by any such dealer under this Act, and take a copy of any entries in any of such books.
The TTPS will enforce all laws as it pertains to the misuse of fireworks to ensure the safety and security to all law-abiding citizens.