SafeWork NSW inspectors are targeting the sale of illegal fireworks on social media in the lead up to Australia Day 2017.

SafeWork has received a significant increase in reports of individuals attempting to sell fireworks illegally on social media sites such as Facebook and is working closely with the NSW Police Force to track down those individuals.

In NSW, the possession, use, storage and transport of display fireworks is restricted to SafeWork NSW licence holders. Licensed pyrotechnicians are also required to notify authorities before a fireworks display, including police, Fire and Rescue NSW or the NSW Rural Fire Service and local Council.

Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy said anyone who buys, sells or uses fireworks without a SafeWork NSW licence faces heavy fines or imprisonment.

“Fireworks should only be set off by trained and licensed individuals who know how to manage the risks and ensure everyone’s safety,” Mr Dunphy said.

“SafeWork NSW is working in conjunction with police to identify individuals advertising fireworks illegally online and prevent them being sold to unsuspecting users.

“Anyone caught selling or purchasing fireworks without a licence faces fines of up to $27,000 and 12 months in jail.

“Anyone caught using fireworks without a licence risks an on-the-spot fine of up to $2,000.

“And anyone caught displaying fireworks without a licence faces penalties of up to $27,500.

“So the message this Australia Day is that if you’re thinking about buying or selling illegal fireworks on social media, the authorities are watching and you will face significant penalties if you get caught.”

SafeWork NSW records show that over the past two years there have been three fatalities from illegal fireworks and numerous serious injuries, including burns and loss of limbs.

Almost two tonnes of illegal fireworks has also been seized resulting in two prosecutions, including a 10 month custodial sentence.

SafeWork has also conducted a program of inspections of more than 100 fireworks displays and import consignments across the State.

Mr Dunphy urged people to celebrate Australia Day safely this year.

“Don’t risk injury to yourself, your family or friends by using fireworks this Australia Day and never purchase fireworks from individuals on social media,” he said.

Anyone with information on the illegal use or sale of fireworks should call CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000. Information on approved fireworks displays or licensing requirements is available by calling SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50 or visiting www.safework.nsw.gov.au

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