Police give reminder that emergency flares without emergency are illegal on New Year’s Eve

Chinese lanterns Chinese lanterns

Fire and police services asked people to respect the ban on the use of emergency flares and emergency missiles on New Year’s Eve. Their use is both dangerous and illegal, they warned.


‘Both emergency flares, and emergency missiles create so much heat that they can even burn under water,’ said Geir Thorsen, Fire Chief at the 110th station, in Møre og Romsdal.

Along the coast, it has been a tradition for many years to ignite emergency flares, or to launch emergency missiles at the New Year. But flares are only to be used in an emergency situation, the police reminded.

For violating the law, one could be punished under the Fire and Explosives Protection Act, and the Penal Code, with fines or imprisonment of up to three months.

‘If you fire an emergency flare without being in distress, you also risk faking an alarm. Incorrect use can trigger unnecessary rescue action, and it is an abuse of an important rescue tool,’ said police inspector, Yngve Skovly of Møre and Romsdal Police District.

The fire department also asked people not to launch so-called ‘Chinese lanterns’.

‘This is, essentially, a flying bonfire that can reach 800 meters, and burns for 20 to 40 minutes. If a lantern lands while it is still burning, it can start fires in both houses and vegetation,’ said Fire Chief, Geir Thorsen.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today