People violating by-laws regulating fireworks in Johannesburg will be slapped with a R1500 fine, says the city emergency service. "In terms of the city's by-laws, no person should use fireworks within 500 metres of any explosives factory, explosives storage place, petrol depot or petrol station, inside any building, at any public place or at any school, old age home or hospital," said emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi. He said no one under the age of 16 was allowed to handle or use fireworks, except if they were supervised by an adult. Retailers may not sell fireworks to a child under the age of 16. "Fireworks should be handled by adults, and children should watch the display from a distance." To stage a fireworks display, permission must first be sought in writing from the fireworks working committee or from the chief fire officer in that particular region. "The application must reach the committee or the chief fire officer 14 days in advance to allow members of the public to launch any objections." Permission must also be sought to set off crackers in private yards. In the application, the person must outline the plan of the house, including any overhead pylons. A site inspection by the emergency management services would also be conducted. Those planning their own fireworks shows were urged to keep in mind the dangers inherent in their use, and to remember safety tips: >> Pick a site that is appropriate for lighting the crackers. >> Safety is a priority and clothes must be resistant to fire. >> Set up the display during daylight hours. >> Check the wind direction before starting the display. >> Pick up all the remains of the fireworks and keep them out of children's reach. In addition, people should read the instructions provided with each fireworks, said Mulaudzi. "Never throw lighted crackers, always stand well back. Never return to a cracker once it is lit because it may go off in one's face. "Always give fireworks plenty of room to explode. Light crackers in an open space, be considerate and not endanger other members of the public," he said.