Fire and Emergency urges those celebrating Lunar New Year to be fire safe

8:55 am on 22 January 2023
Chinese New Year celebrations in Dunedin

Fireworks are often a part of Lunar New Year celebrations, but many places around the country currently have fireworks bans in place. Photo: Alex Bradshaw / Fire Fire

Fire and Emergency (FENZ) is warning people planning on celebrating Lunar New Year this weekend to take particular care with fireworks, and to take note of the many areas with total bans on them.

The Lunar New Year, which is celebrated widely across Asia, falls on Sunday, 22 January this year, and fireworks and lanterns are often part of celebrations.

FENZ's Community Education Manager Adrian Nacey said anyone planning on lighting fireworks or sky lanterns needed to also be conscious of fire safety.

He said some parts of the country were in prohibited or restricted fire seasons, and there were temporary bans on private use of fireworks in a number of locations around the country.

Areas with fireworks bans include the Karikari Peninsula and Ahipara township in Northland, Thames-Coromandel - including islands off the mainland, the Mackenzie Basin, the Upper Waitaki, and the Queenstown-Lakes and Otago Central zones.

Nacey said the fireworks bans included sparklers.

He said sky lanterns also posed a significant fire risk to buildings and vegetation.

"We strongly recommend you do not light sky lanterns. At the very least, keep sky lanterns tethered, and do not release them. Keep lanterns away from combustible material, never leave lanterns unattended, and please keep matches and lighters out of reach of children."