Do a quick Google search and you will find that “firecrackers” are on the list of things that are banned in Singapore. But have you wondered why firecrackers are not allowed in Singapore?
In the past, firecrackers were legal in Singapore.
In fact, firecrackers were very popular, and people would often light them during the festive seasons as it is believed that evil spirits would be driven away by the loud noise.
However, firecrackers soon became a serious public safety issue which prompted the Singapore government to start regulating the use of firecrackers in 1968.
Despite the introduction of new regulations banning the use of certain types of firecrackers, the problem of fires caused by firecrackers remained. Reportedly, about one-third of the fires that broke out during the Chinese New Year festivities were caused by firecrackers.
In 1970, a partial ban on firecrackers was imposed after the use of firecrackers resulted in six deaths, more than 60 people injured, and a total of $560,390 worth of damaged property.
During the Chinese New Year of 1972, the police received 376 complaints about the illegal discharge of firecrackers. 26 people were also injured as a result.
On top of the illegal use of firecrackers, two unarmed policemen were attacked and injured when they tried to prevent a group of people from letting off firecrackers unlawfully.
This then motivated the government to extend the partial ban to a total ban in August 1972.
Today, under the Dangerous Fireworks Act, a person found guilty of importing, selling, or distributing fireworks shall face a prison term of between six months and two years, and caning of up to six strokes.
First-time offenders face a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000, or imprisonment of up to two years. Repeat offenders face mandatory imprisonment of up to two years and caning of not more than six strokes.
Though firecrackers are still banned in Singapore today, there are nevertheless exceptions – as long as there are necessary permits from authorities and safety precautions in place to prevent injuries!