Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 15:25
Legal fireworks sales underway; Neighborhood complaints soar
Fireworks sales across the Netherlands legally began on Tuesday morning, with some stores opening their doors as early as 7 a.m. The sales trend of dramatically loud and explosive fireworks seems to be making way for more decorative pyrotechnics, industry analyst Leo Groeneveld said. Despite this, nearly 43 thousand people had already filed a fireworks-related complaint on one website, substantially more than last year. That number totaled a 30 thousand by 7 p.m. on December 30, 2014, considered very high at the time. Fireworks may only be ignited between 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve through 2 a.m. on the first day of 2016. Of the fireworks purchased in advance this year, only eight percent do little more than make a loud noise and a quick flash of light. They made up 12 percent of purchases last year, and 27 percent in 2013, Groeneveld, a pyrotechnics lobbyist, told RTL Nieuws. Part of the downward trend is because of the danger connected to them, particularly to the now-illegal Cobra 6 model. More customers are interested in buying exploding flower beds and cakes instead, which use more design, sounds, and color effects, Groeneveld said. Brighter colors should also light up the Dutch skies. Legal sales of the explosives will continue through December 31. They are grouped into three different categories, requiring the purchaser to either be 12, 16 or 18 years of age. The country spent nearly 65 million euro on fireworks in 2014. Lighting pyrotechnics on New Year’s was officially named an indispensable part of Dutch culture last month.