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Massive fines for illegal fireworks planned

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Massive fines for illegal fireworks planned
File photo: Paul Gillingwater
12:48 CET+01:00
Austrian police have advised that any New Years revellers who use illegal fireworks face fines of up to €3,500 if caught.

In addition to the fines, police have banned fireworks completely from some parts of Austria.

Due to severe drought conditions, Klagenfurt has an outright ban in the city area.  All districts of Carinthia have also prohibited the lighting of fires, especially in areas near forest, due to the lack of rain.

Some districts of Tyrol have banned rockets and bangers, especially near woods.  The Innsbruck city authorities have also issued a ban on certain larger or more dangerous types of fireworks.

Vorarlberg has also issued its own ban on rockets.

As a general policy, fire authorities have warned about illegal bangers, with between 50 and 80 grams of gunpowder, as being of special concern.

"This level develops a blasting force, which is very similar to the effect of a military hand grenade", warned the provincial fire commander of Lower Austria.

Legal fireworks normally use between 5 and 8 grams.

Vienna and Linz
 
Meanwhile, in Vienna police have plans to distribute alarms to reduce the risk of sexual assault.  More than 400 police, 300 security personnel and 19 additional cameras will be deployed to keep people safe while celebrating the New Year.
 
Thousands of people are expected to attend the New Year's Eve party in the main square of Linz.  An additional 50 officers will be deployed to prevent any unwanted incidents, such as the assaults the previous year in Cologne, reported ORF.
 
"Panic attacks" in animals
 
Finally, animal welfare charities warned of the effect of fireworks on pets, especially cats and dogs.  They begged owners not to leave the animals alone.
 
 
"If you really like your animals, you do not have to leave the house for new year's eve, stay with them or go with them in a quiet area outside the city," advised Vierpfoten.
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