With bonfire night fast approaching West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service are reminding traders of their legal responsibilities to ensure they are supplying safe fireworks and are adhering to the law by only selling them to persons of legal age.
As well as being a time for fun and celebration, firework season can often encourage incidents of anti social behaviour which can cause concern and in extreme cases fear for vulnerable individuals. Bonfire night and fireworks in general can be great fun for the entire family but it is important that it is celebrated safely. Every year there are accidents caused by the careless and improper use of fireworks. Figures show that more children than adults get hurt by fireworks, which is one reason why fireworks are an age restricted item.
- It is against the law to carry fireworks in public if you're under 18.
- Fireworks must not be sold to anyone who is under 18.
- From the 4th July 2017 fireworks marked BS 7114 can no longer be sold in the UK. All fireworks must carry the CE mark.
- It is an offence to set off fireworks between the hours of 11pm and 7am, except on Bonfire Night where the times are extended.
- During firework season, fireworks can only be sold between the 15th October and the 10th November.
- Other periods when fireworks can be sold are as following;
- On the first day of the Chinese New Year and 3 days preceding it.
- On the day of Diwali and the 3 days preceding it.
- During the period beginning on the 26th December and ending on the 31st December.
- In order to sell fireworks throughout the whole year, traders need an all year round licence.
Did You Know?
- Sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil
- A rocket can reach speeds of 150mph
- A firework shell can reach as high as 200m
The following fireworks are not allowed to be supplied to the general public:
- Aerial wheels;
- Air bombs;
- All bangers (including batteries and combinations, such as Chinese Crackers)
- Mini rockets
- Fireworks with erratic flight (e.g. jumping ground spinners, jumping crackers, spinners)
- Category F4 professional display fireworks (other than to a person with specialist knowledge)West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service advise to:
- You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
- Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
- Light sparklers one at a time, wear gloves and never give sparklers to a child under 5 and children over this age should be supervised
- Buy fireworks bearing a CE Mark
- Do not be tempted to buy fireworks from someone who is selling them in the street or from the back of a van etc.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box and follow the instructions on each firework
- Light them at arm’s length using a taper
- Stand well back and never go back to a lit firework
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw fireworks
- Have a full bucket of water handy for any emergency, and for putting used sparklers into
- Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving
West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service will be carrying out inspections to ensure that illegal fireworks are removed from sale. Trading Standards Officers will also carry out visits to ensure fireworks are not supplied to anyone under the age of 18 and ensuring retailers comply with the relevant safety legislation.
David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service said, “we would like all residents of West Yorkshire to enjoy a safe bonfire night - fireworks can be a dangerous product if used incorrectly or irresponsibly, so please follow the instructions carefully and ensure children are supervised at all times.”
Councillor Jo Hepworth, Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the work of the Trading Standards, said “It is important that retailers have procedures in place to ensure that they do not break the law and sell fireworks to children. They are age restricted for a reason, and can pose risks to younger users. Any retailers who are unclear about the law should contact Trading Standards for advice.”
If you are concerned about unsafe fireworks or that young people in your area are being sold fireworks, please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.