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13.12.2018 – 07:13

BAM Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung

Celebrate New Year's Eve with a bang - safely and legally

Celebrate New Year's Eve with a bang - safely and legally
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Berlin, 13/12/2018. On New Year's Eve, millions of fireworks are expected to be ignited again to ring in the new year. However, time and time again this results in injuries, as consumers handle them improperly or set off illegal bangers. At their press conference, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) informed the public about the safe handling of rockets, batteries and the likes, and demonstrated how dangerous illegal firecrackers can be using a hand dummy.

BAM stresses that only tested fireworks should be purchased and used. Tested fireworks are marked with a registration number and the CE marking along with the notified body's identification number. Notified bodies are neutral, independent organisations appointed by the respective member states to the EU Commission. BAM is the notified body in Germany for testing fireworks according to the EU's Directive on Pyrotechnic Articles [2013/29/EU]. BAM's identification number is 0589.

"In comparison with tested firecrackers which have a limited amount of black powder, illegal fireworks often contain a flash composition which has a much stronger reaction," says BAM pyrotechnics expert Dr. Christian Lohrer. "If such a pyrotechnic article were to explode in a hand, this would result in serious injuries or the loss of fingers."

However, certified firecrackers are also often used incorrectly. "Read the user manual before igniting," explains Heidrun Fink, head of testing for BAM's Explosives division. "Most importantly, firecrackers should not be thrown, but instead placed individually on the ground and then ignited. A safety distance of at least eight metres should be observed." This safety distance also applies to uninvolved third-party spectators attending the fireworks. Firecrackers should never be opened under any circumstance. The chemical substances are very sensitive to friction, impact, electrostatics and heat. Handling can lead to dangerous reactions and explosions.

In addition to EU rules, there are country-specific regulations for the use and distribution of fireworks. For example, F2 category fireworks, which also include New Year's Eve rockets, firework batteries, bangers and fountains, may only be purchased and used in Germany by those aged 18 and older. In addition, category F2 rockets with more than 20g of explosive content may only be purchased and ignited by people with a special permit or certificate.

Information, photos and video

More information regarding fireworks and their safe use is available on our website.

Venio Quinque, M.A., LL.M./LL.B. 
Head of Section Corporate Communications 
Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) 
Unter den Eichen 87 
12205 Berlin 
T: + 49 30 8104-1002 
F: + 49 30 8104-71002 

About BAM
BAM promotes safety in technology and chemistry. 
As a departmental research institute of the German Federal Ministry for Economic
Affairs and Energy, BAM performs research, testing and offers advisory support
to protect people, the environment and material goods. Its activity in the
fields of materials science, materials engineering and chemistry is focussed on
the technical safety of products and processes.

BAM's research is directed towards substances, materials, building elements,
components and facilities as well as natural and technical systems important for
the national economy and relevant to society. It also tests and assesses their
safe handling and operation. BAM develops and validates analysis procedures and
assessment methods, models and necessary standards and provides science-based
services for the German industry in a European and international framework.

Safety creates markets. 
BAM sets and represents high standards for safety in technology and chemistry
for Germany and its global markets to further develop the successful German
quality culture "Made in Germany".
More stories: BAM Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung
More stories: BAM Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung