In the run-up to the Chinese and Vietnamese New Years which fall between February 4 and 6, the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall has prohibited people from playing with firecrackers, fireworks, or other explosive devices that can cause loud sounds. It also prohibited gambling activities and any celebratory marches without prior permission.
As part of the prohibition, the authority also called on the people to maintain security, safety and social and public order during the festivities.
On Wednesday, it also cautioned all entertainment outlets, organisations, factories, enterprises and residential homes to be careful of anything that can cause major fires such as the burning of incense, candles, fake ceremonial money, kitchen fires and overloaded electricity supply.
Fake ceremonial money and prayer papers must be burned into iron or clay pots and not on public roads or in public spaces, it said.
The authority warned that anyone who violated the rules or commits offences that affect public order, security, safety, and social order can be punished under the law.
Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey told The Post on Wednesday that from today until Chinese New Year, the authority will inspect shops in the capital and seize firecrackers and explosive devices if they are found.
“In order to prevent importing [firecrackers and fireworks into Phnom Penh] from other locations, the local authority must prohibit any displays [firecrackers or fireworks] at the shops in all markets. Such products must be confiscated if they are found to be on display,” he said.
Prom Yorn, the director of the municipal fire department, told The Post on Wednesday that Phnom Penh has 48 fire engines and 178 firefighters prepared for any eventuality during the festivities.
“We have fire fighting teams on standby at the target areas such as in Chbar Ampov, Tuol Kork and Prampi Makara districts where our firefighters have been divided into two groups,” he said.
Neth Vantha, the director of the Fire Prevention Department at the Ministry of Interior, said that every Chinese New Year, the capital and provincial authorities warned the people to take precautions.
“This year’s dry season is longer, so we must maintain water sources as we can use them to help put out fires,” he said.