Central Bedfordshire Council’s public protection team will be visiting over 40 retailers to ensure that the public are not being sold dangerous fireworks.
Officers will be inspecting retailers’ premises to ensure that the fireworks are being stored safely and securely, away from possible sources of ignition and damp.
A number of other checks will be carried out to ensure retailers are behaving responsibly and complying with the law, including checks to confirm that the retailer has the required registration or licence to legally store and sell fireworks and that the fireworks conform to relevant safety standards.
Retailers will also be reminded of the age restrictions that apply to the sale of fireworks: those under the age of 18 are not allowed to buy fireworks or handle them in a public place.
Fireworks should only be purchased from reputable suppliers and the public are advised to steer well clear of buying fireworks from markets, car-boot sales or street sellers.
Fireworks bought from these sources could be defective and are unlikely to meet UK safety requirements.
For some families it’s traditional to buy fireworks and sparklers, wrap up warm together and watch them light up the sky, but unless you are buying from a reputable retailer, you may get burned in more ways than one.
To ensure that your fireworks come from a trustworthy dealer, make sure that they are marked with CE.
Using or buying fireworks illegally can result in a £5,000 fine or imprisonment. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.
Central Bedfordshire Council has issued a guide on how to use fireworks and have an enjoyable and safe bonfire night:
> Only buy fireworks from a reputable dealer and ensure they CE marked
> Do not drink alcohol if handling fireworks
> Keep fireworks in a closed box
> Follow the instructions on each firework
> Light at arms length using a taper
> Stand well back from a lit firework
> Never go near a firework that has been lit and failed to go off, it could still explode
> Never put fireworks into your pocket or throw them
> Always supervise children/under 18’s around fireworks
> Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
> Never give sparklers to under 5’s
> Keep pets indoors
If members of the public, have any concerns that fireworks being sold are unsafe or that they are being sold illegally they can contact trading standards, in confidence on 0300 300 8000, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.