Sector Crisis management and relief

New Year's Eve Safety Risks


In the Netherlands, the New Year’s Eve is a celebration with a downside. People set off
fireworks on a grand scale, causing hundreds of injuries every year. On average, since
2000, fireworks have caused the death of one person each year. Many of those injured –
half of whom are bystanders – are scarred for life. Although the percentages vary from
year to year, on average nearly half the victims are aged under 20. No other festival in the
Netherlands causes as many injuries as the celebration of the New Year’s Eve. In addition,
during New Year celebrations there are large-scale disruptions to public order, ranging
from cars set on fire, rubbish containers destroyed and noise pollution to the use of
violence. There are around 11,000 incidents in total.

The (potential) physical and material consequences of the use of fireworks and the
disruption to public order also have a subjective side: they make people feel unsafe in
their own communities. However, there is no simple solution that will resolve these New
Year’s Eve safety issues. After carrying out its investigation, the Dutch Safety Board has
determined that these problems need to be tackled on two fronts: fireworks and public


  • Start date 31 mrt. 2017
  • End date 1 dec. 2017
  • Type investigationFull
  • Status investigationClosed


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