No death caused by firecrackers was reported so far in Beijing during the Spring Festival holiday,a local official in charge of firecrackers management has said.
During the Spring Festival holiday, which began Jan. 28, Beijingers are allowed to light firecrackers in designated areas after this festive activity was banned in the Chinese capital for 13 years since 1993.
The number of fires caused by firecrackers rose slightly compared with last year, but no death and serious injury of eyes were reported as of Thursday, said Li Wei, head of the Beijing Municipal Office for Firecrackers Management.
This is ascribed to the fact that Beijing residents have set off firecrackers strictly in accordance with relevant regulations,Li was quoted by Friday's Beijing Daily Messenger as saying.
Booms of firecrackers during the Spring Festival, which often falls in January and February, mark the end of a passing year, or "Guonian" as the Chinese refer to it. Traditionally, firecrackers are believed to chase away demons, especially on Lunar New Year's Eve. This tradition has been passed on from generation to generation for centuries in China.
Many Chinese cities including Beijing banned firecrackers during the Spring Festival period for safety reasons years ago. But many cities have lifted the ban responding to the public request for such festive activity.
The Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress adopted new rules, namely the Beijing Municipal Regulations on Firecrackers Safety Management, in September last year to replace the Regulations Banning Firecrackers during SpringFestival and other festivals, which was enacted in 1993. The new rules eased firecrackers ban during the Spring Festival and other festivals through out the year.
Many Beijingers are delighted to hear the news of easing firecrackers ban, saying they can feel the joy and happiness of the Lunar New Year by lighting up the firecrackers.
But Li, the firecrackers management official, said that local residents should set off all the firecrackers they have bought before Feb. 12, the 15th day since the Lunar New Year began, and should not store firecrackers at home so as to prevent possible accidents caused by firecrackers.
Local police and firemen have worked around the clock during the festival period to guarantee the public safety. More than 9,000 police and over 4,000 firemen were on duty on Thursday alone,plussing 150,000 volunteers.