Over 53,000 complaints about fireworks this season; Up 10 percent

Fire brigade at the scene of a fireworks explosion in Zwijndrecht (Picture: Twitter/@Nick_TS402)Fire brigade at the scene of a fireworks explosion in Zwijndrecht (Picture: Twitter/@Nick_TS402)

During the run up to New Year's Eve and a few days after, over 53,000 complaints were reported to a website devoted to logging fireworks nuisances in the Netherlands. The registration had a 10 percent increase in complaints over a year ago, suggesting that either people are more frequently annoyed by fireworks, or more people know about the website created by 30 local GroenLinks party factions.

The disturbances mainly concern loud bangs, fireworks exploding too soon, and generally unsafe situations on the streets. New Year's fireworks cause millions of euros in damages annually, and cause a variety of injuries.

According to Arno Bonte, a council member form the GroenLikns in Rotterdam, the increase in complaints is caused by the fact that this year fireworks were on the market one day earlier than usual, "From the moment the sale began, the number of complaints increased significantly", he told NOS.

Growing damage estimates and increasingly traumatic injuries were the inspirations for the creation of the website, vuurwerkoverlast.nl. 

The idea behind this initiative is to put on paper and report all the problems caused by fireworks. The Green party groups aim is to achieve a New Year's Eve where fireworks are only handles by professionals. 

Banning fireworks might not be so easy. The practice of using explosives around New Year's Eve is considered to be part of the Dutch national heritage, and was named to a list of such practices by the Dutch Center for Popular Culture and Intangible Heritage.