Fireworks and sky lanterns still illegal in Phuket

PHOTO: A new notice reiterates the six-year-old ban on fireworks and sky lanterns in Phuket. (via Public Domain Pictures)

Officials in Phuket have issued another reminder to the public that releasing fireworks and sky lanterns in public areas is illegal. The warning put out yesterday is a reminder of a rule passed earlier this year on May 6 that called for a crackdown on all illegal fireworks.

Phuket Vice Governor Anupap Rodkwan Yodrambam made that original proclamation on behalf of Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew. It instructed all district chiefs to stop locals and tourists alike. Punishments for setting off fireworks or releasing sky lanterns illegally can include heavy fines and even jail time. The setting off of fireworks and sky lanterns without permission in public can carry a fine of up to 60,000 baht and three years in prison.

The directive in May also called on all the mayors in Phuket and the Commander of the Phuket Provincial Police to take decisive action against illegal fireworks. The warning issued yesterday was a reiteration of the command in May, which itself was a crackdown on the original banning of fireworks in the province which goes back to September 14, 2016.

According to Phuket News, the reiteration was considered a preventative safety and security measure to prevent injury, loss of life, or destruction of property. Officials fear that after years of repressed partying and celebration due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people may easily get out of control while celebrating and end up with a catastrophe, as witnessed in Korea for Halloween.

Authorities aim to curb people setting off illegal fireworks amidst throngs of partygoers on the beaches in public areas in Phuket. Yesterday’s warning called on government entities to raise public awareness of the ban on fireworks and for law enforcement to take strict action against rule breakers. Police have already started in Patong and Kathu where officers seized illegal fireworks and lanterns earlier this month.

The notice also warned people against selling illegal fireworks and lanterns. The police at the public and local businesses report any illegal vendors or any other suspicious activity. Patrols on Patong Beach are already sweeping the area regularly to enforce the notice.

“The local registrar shall strictly prohibit the sale of floating lanterns, lamps, smoke lamps or any other similar objects. without permission to consider further actions in the relevant sections [of law].”

Phuket News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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