Traders reminded of fireworks sales safety

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019

STAFFORDSHIRE Businesses are being reminded about the need for the safe storage and sale of fireworks.

Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers will be visiting premises across the county in the run-up to bonfire night celebrations to ensure fireworks are being stored safely and only being sold to people over 18.

Any company selling them needs a licence and anyone buying fireworks should only do so from registered premises. People should also avoid buying such items through social media network sites.

It is against the law for fireworks to be sold at a car boot sale, from a vehicle or from a private house.

Gill Heath, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “This is a particularly busy time of year for our trading standards team who have been visiting premises to ensure that items are being stored safely and sold responsibly.

“While the vast majority of traders do follow the law, we do need to know about unregistered traders and those who are selling fireworks unlawfully, putting people’s safety at risk.  Fireworks are extremely dangerous and I would encourage anyone with information about unauthorised sellers to get in touch with the team.”

Only specialist traders are licensed to sell fireworks all year round. The vast majority of shops can only sell fireworks from October 15 until November 10 and then again from December 26 until December 31.

Anyone who has concerns about their sale should contact Trading Standards Confidential: 01785 330356

READ MORE: Why are pets scared of fireworks?

The Legislation

The Fireworks Regulations 2004 are designed to tackle the anti-social use of fireworks. Since January 2005 the sale of fireworks to the public is prohibited, except licensed traders. However, they can be sold by unlicensed traders for:

  • Chinese New Year and the preceding three days,
  • Diwali and the proceeding three days,
  • Bonfire Night celebrations (15 October to 10 November), and
  • New Year celebrations (26 to 31 December).

Under the 2004 Regulations, it is an offence to use fireworks after 11 pm and before 7 am without permission (except on permitted nights when the times are extended).

There are various categories of fireworks. Category F1 present a very low hazard and are intended for use in confined areas, including inside domestic buildings. Categories F2 and F3 are on general sale to the public but only category F2 are intended for outdoor use in confined areas (such as a small garden).

Under the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015, a retailer must not sell category F1 to anyone under the age of 16. Category F2 and F3 must not be sold to anyone under 18. The most powerful F4 category (display fireworks) must not be sold to members of the public; they can only be supplied to a person with specialist knowledge. These measures are specifically designed to promote consumer safety.