The Berlin Spectator
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Berlin: Police Department Reminds Residents of Firecracker Ban Zones

For the first time, Berlin has two firecracker ban zones. Pyrotechnics may not be held, carried or used there. There are several additional rules that need to be adhered to on New Year’s Eve.

The use of pyrotechnical products is regulated in Germany. There are strict rules that apply for class F2, F3 and F4 firecrackers and fireworks, meaning all products of this kind excluding harmless table fireworks, sparklers or snowberries.

Two Ban Zones in Berlin

In Germany, firecrackers and fireworks may be sold from December 28th (usually from the 29th, when that date is not a Sunday) to 31st and used from December 31st at 6:00 p.m. to January 1st at 1:00 a.m.. Berlin, where they can be lit, detonated or shot into the sky until 7:00 a.m. on January 1st, is an exception.

Berlin’s police department just reminded the German capital’s residents of two new firecracker ban zones:

  • The first one includes ‘Alexanderplatz’ in its entirety (see map above).
  • The other firecrackers ban zone is located in Schöneberg between ‘Pallasstrasse’/’Goebenstrasse’ and ‘Alvenslebenstrasse’ (see map below)
One of Berlin’s ban zones is located in Schöneberg. Map by ‘OpenStreetMap’

Preventing Attacks

In and around these areas, many police officers will be on site to enforce the bans. The reason they were imposed is the usual chaos caused by drunk individuals on New Year’s Eve a year ago. They threw lit firecrackers and similar products at each other and towards police officers.

Other cities in Germany have imposed bans too, for several reasons:

  • Drunk individuals usually do not really care about anything much when they light fireworks or firecrackers. They endanger themselves and others.
  • The particulate matter concentration increases with the use of pyrotechnical products.
  • Loud bangs and other noises caused by those products frighten dogs and other pets as well as zoo animals.

Even More Rules

There is an additional danger: In Berlin and some other German cities, illegal firecrackers are being sold too. These so-called ‘Polen-Böller’, named after neighboring Poland, where they might come from, are considered far more dangerous than legal ones.

Generally, in all parts of Germany, including Berlin, lighting firecrackers or fireworks near hospitals, homes for the elderly, children’s homes, churches or houses with thatched roofs is strictly forbidden.

Each year, Germans spend around 130 million Euro (144 million Dollars or 116 million Pounds Sterling) on pyrotechnical products, in spite of all the restrictions mentioned.

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