BEIJING – Beijing’s ban on firecrackers and fireworks during the Chinese New Year celebrations led to 73 percent fewer fires compared to last year, local authorities said on Wednesday.
From Feb. 15-20, fireworks triggered 17 fires, the city’s fireworks control office said in a statement.
Thirty people were injured in the same period, a fall of 62 percent compared to 2017, the office said.
China’s capital city allowed the fireworks only in the suburbs located outside the Fifth Ring Road.
It marked the end of a 12-year period during which the fireworks were effectively allowed all across the city, leading to major fires, such as the one in 2009 that swept through the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
The Chinese often set off crackers and light fireworks during these festivities in the belief that the noise and the fire they emit will drive away evil spirits and usher in good luck in the New Year.