Beijing continues firecracker ban in holidays
Beijing's firecracker ban office has announced that the city is expanding the area affected by the 12-year-old ban during the imminent Spring Festival on Feb. 9.
The office said that injuries caused by firecrackers have decreased drastically in recent years thanks to the ban and the crack down on production and selling of shoddy firecrackers.
According to the office, this year's banned areas have expanded from the downtown third ring to the fifth ring. What was previously the outskirts of the city are now densely populated with residents who have moved from small downtown apartments to more spacious outlying ones.
Besides the Eastern and Western districts and six other urban districts of Chongwen, Xuanwu, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan, the new regulations have banned firecrackers from densely populated areas in the outskirtan districts of Daxing, Tongzhou, Shunyi, Changping, Fangshan, Mentougou, Huairou, Pinggu and Miyun.
Out of safety concern, the municipality also outlaws the lighting of firecrackers close to railway stations, bus stops, airport, schools, hospitals, gas stations, warehouses and some other public facilities.
Beijing began to ban firecrackers early in 1993 to safeguard safety and property of residents.
According to the municipal office in charge of the firecracker ban, five people were killed by festive explosives during the traditional Spring Festival of 2004 and two during the 2003 festival.