Trading Standards Warn of Fireworks Danger
People planning Bonfire Night or Diwali celebrations are being urged to exercise caution if buying fireworks.
West Northamptonshire Council's Trading Standards team is reminding people to buy only from licensed sellers, and to avoid the temptation to pick up cheap fireworks from the back of a van, a market stall, or on social media.
All fireworks sold in the UK must carry the CE or UKCA mark and come with English labelling and instructions.
Fireworks which lack this will not have been put through the same rigorous testing as genuine fireworks, and could pose a serious risk to public safety.
People are also reminded that the sorts of fireworks typically designed for private displays can only be bought by those aged 18 and over, and that the most powerful Category F4 fireworks must only be used by professionals.
The safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a properly organised public display, but those who choose to have a firework party at home should always follow the Firework Code
Councillor David Smith, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services on West Northamptonshire Council, said: "We want people to enjoy the upcoming festivities safely and responsibly, and there are lots of fantastic professional displays taking place in communities across the West Northamptonshire area which I would encourage you to support.
"If you do decide to hold a display at home, please be very careful who you buy your fireworks from. The advice from our Trading Standards team is to only to buy from shops which you recognise and trust. If you're buying online, only use websites belonging to fully licensed firework companies and avoid buying them via social media.
"Even legitimate fireworks can be dangerous if they're not used in the correct way, so the dangers posed by fake fireworks are significant, with potentially deadly consequences. Remember that fireworks are explosives and should be treated with caution and respect. Always read the instructions – and remember that if they are not clear or not in English, the firework may be illegal.
"Our Trading Standards team works hard to crackdown on unlicensed sellers, but you can support their efforts and stay safe by only purchasing fireworks from reputable businesses."
Lisa Bryan, Prevention Manager at Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: "We encourage everyone to celebrate safely and it's always safest to attend official firework displays. Home displays if not done correctly have the potential to injure people but also to set fire to nearby properties. Fake fireworks can be unpredictable and unsafe, causing even more of a risk so please follow the advice to purchase safe products.
"If holding a home display, please take extra care, always store fireworks away from heat sources, and make sure you follow the instructions and read them by torchlight or in the day, never by a naked flame.
"When lighting them, use a taper and stay at arm's length and never go back to a lit firework even if it hasn't gone off. Collect fireworks after a display with care, douse them with water and dispose of them properly in a metal container.
"Finally, make sure children are at a safe distance during the display, and be mindful of pets as this time of year can be unsettling for them."
People are encouraged to report any suspected illegal products or sellers to Trading Standards by contacting Citizens Advice and Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
Posted: Tue, 26 Oct 2021 09:32 by John Scott