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New ban on fireworks to come into effect

    A ban on playing with fireworks and firecrackers around certain buildings and sites outside the Outer Ring Road is to come into effect next year.

    Meanwhile, the ban on fireworks and firecrackers within the Outer Ring Road will stay in force, a ban that will extend to all parts of the city on heavily polluted days.

    Outside the Outer Ring Road, no fireworks or firecrackers are allowed near government buildings, heritage sites, metro stations, railways, airports, bus stations, ferry terminals, shopping centers, cultural centers, religious sites, hospitals, schools and kindergartens and senior homes as well as energy facility protection zones and compounds where inflammable and explosive materials are produced, sold or stored.

    On days when the illegal use of fireworks is most likely to happen, which includes New Year, Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival, police and community volunteers around the city will join forces in preventing and discouraging residents from playing with fireworks and firecrackers where they’re not supposed to.

    Those who insist on doing so will face punishments, the government said.

    Residents are being encouraged to report offenses in relation to fireworks and firecrackers by calling 12345, 110 or 96119, and those living within the Outer Ring Road are encouraged to turn in fireworks and firecrackers they may have at home to the police.

    The government said it will continue to crack down on the illegal sale of fireworks and firecrackers and keep only one legal selling spot for every district with areas outside the Outer Ring Road, while the total amount of fireworks and firecrackers in supply won’t surpass that of last year.

    Residents who purchase fireworks and firecrackers will have to register their names, officials said.

    Several cases of illegal sales of fireworks and firecrackers have been uncovered by police in suburban districts since the beginning of December.

    When police in Jinshan District stopped a van on December 19 they found 293 boxes of fireworks and firecrackers.

    Two people were detained on suspicion of transporting such items from out of town to sell in Shanghai without a license.

    Police said they will step up the inspection of vehicles coming into the city in a bid to prevent the illegal trade.