Finnish Safety Authority is considering request for police investigation into suspected fireworks violations
The Safety Technology Authority (TUKES) intends to decide by the end of next week whether or not they should submit a request for a police investigation into the suspected violation of regulations by the Finnish fireworks importer Suomen Ilotulitus Oy.
”We will estimate next week whether it is necessary”, says Senior Engineer Harri Roudasmaa from TUKES.
”We will take a critical look at the documents and compare them with regulations, after which we will make a decision”, he adds.
Helsingin Sanomat reported on the shortcomings in the fireworks importer’s test firings and related documentation on Christmas Eve.
Finland’s legislation lists a large number of various violations concerning fireworks, which are punishable by fines. One of these violations concerns the requirements over quality control.
Kalervo Kaarre, the Managing Director of Suomen Ilotulitus Oy, says that he has nothing against such a request for investigation.
”The authority does what it has to do, and we will be ready to cooperate”, he notes.
The Managing Director of the fireworks company, which has been the focus of attention in the past few days, cannot say as yet whether the row has caused any losses to the company during the peak season for fireworks sales.
”We have been informed by retailers that business has been good. In that respect, no large losses are anticipated”, Kaarre reports.
TUKES announced on Tuesday that it had imposed a sales ban on a total of 103 fireworks items imported and intended for sale by Suomen Ilotulitus. However, the authority gradually lifted the sales ban on the same fireworks on Wednesday and Thursday.
TUKES has also gone through other Finnish fireworks companies. No shortcomings have been found.
”This is now focusing on Suomen Ilotulitus Oy’s lapses in this respect”, says Roudasmaa.
Roudasmaa also points out that relatively speaking, fireworks are used only during one night, while there are products that people use every day. Should the authority invest more energy in this case than for example in gas and electric appliances, Roudasmaa asks.
However, Roudasmaa recalls a Komet Bomb case from New Year’s Eve 1996, when 250 people got hurt because of deficient instructions for the use of the powerful firework. Some of them suffered severe injuries.
”We also have serious situations in other product groups every year, and those products are used every day”, Roudasmaa argues.
It is permitted to let off fireworks between 18:00 and 02:00 on New Year's Eve.
Several cites around the country will also be arranging firework displays at midnight on New Year's Eve. At least in Helsinki, the sky is likely to be overcast, as snow is forecast.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Helsinki to prohibit fireworks in downtown squares on New Year´s Eve (26.9.2008)
Fireworks show turned Helsinki´s Taivallahti Bay into sea of flame and sparks (10.9.2010)
Safety Technology Authority (TUKES)
Suomen Ilotulitus Oy