Fireworks in Vienna: what is allowed, what is prohibited

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In view of New Year’s Eve, the Vienna police expressly warns against the use and unauthorized possession of firecrackers and improper use of rockets and other fireworks. Juicy penalties may be imposed.

New Year’s Eve fireworks: What is the situation in Austria?
Most accidents with pyrotechnics are due to carelessness, and improper use. Especially the careless handling of pyrotechnics obtained illegally from abroad, harbors great potential danger. In the event of violations of the provisions of the Pyrotechnics Act, the user faces, in addition to possible criminal consequences, administrative fines of up to 3,600 euros.

Most firecrackers, rockets and the like banned in Vienna
The police divide firecrackers, rockets and Co. into different categories, which may be purchased only from a certain minimum age. For categories F3, F4 and S2, for example, the minimum age is 18. This includes firecrackers, “suns”, firework bombs and ball bombs. Fireworks from 16 years of age – such as firecrackers or volcanoes – fall into category F2.

These items are prohibited in the local area – which means the whole of Vienna – and in the immediate vicinity of crowds of people. Exceptions are only made with the appropriate permits. There is also an absolute ban on pyrotechnic objects near gas stations.

Fireworks: What is permitted in Vienna?
Only a small amount of pyrotechnics is permitted in Vienna, namely category F1. These “Feuerwerkscherzartikeln” include, for example, sparklers, firecrackers, table fireworks or mini firecrackers. These fireworks can be purchased from the age of 12.

Who is liable for damage on New Year’s Eve?
Should a firecracker or rocket hit a vehicle or cause other damage, the question of liability arises. “Basically, the person who caused the damage must also pay for it,” explains ARBÖ legal expert Martin Echsel. “If no damaging party is known, partial or comprehensive insurance can help. Best in the insurance conditions read whether such a case of damage is taken over”, so the lawyer further. If vandalism is covered, forward the case to the insurance company immediately.

Find a safe place to park your car
To avoid damage to the vehicle, ARBÖ recommends looking for a quiet and safe parking space. This is often not always so easy – due to lack of parking space and parking tickets. It is best to park your car in a multi-storey parking lot or garage – that way you are on the safe side. Parking spaces near balconies should be avoided. These are often used as “launching bases” for the missiles.

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