Trading Standards officers are working with shops throughout Essex to ensure that young people do not get their hands on fireworks.
At this time of year youths with fireworks can be a danger to themselves and others but laws are in place to prevent them from getting their hands on fireworks.
The law prohibits the sale of any fireworks to anyone aged under 18 years-old with strict rules preventing teenagers from getting their hands on any explosive materials. Those under 12 years-old cannot even buy Christmas crackers because of the explosive powder found in them which causes the bang and those aged between 16 and 18 cannot buy anything more explosive than party poppers.
Retailers selling fireworks must register with Trading Standards and only sell fireworks in the packs as supplied by the manufacturer.
Cllr Anne Brown, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Corporate and Communities, said: “Everyone enjoys fireworks displays but it is important to remember that fireworks can be extremely dangerous.
“There are strict rules governing the sale and use of fireworks and at this time of year our trading standards officers are busy ensuring that shops are doing all they can to prevent fireworks getting into the hands of young children.
“The best way to keep young ones safe on bonfire night is to make sure that they are kept a safe distance from fireworks and do not have the opportunity to buy them or set them off.”
If you know that fireworks are being sold to anyone under the age of 18 please call the Trading Standards national helpline on 03454 040506.
Anyone planning on holding their own firework display should follow the firework code to make sure they, and their guests, stay safe:
- Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
- Keep fireworks in a closed non-flammable box.
- Follow the instructions on each firework.
- Light them at arm’s length, using a taper.
- Stand well back.
- Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
- Always supervise children around fireworks.
- Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
- Never give sparklers to a child under five.
- Keep pets indoors.