“Only buy fireworks from registered established business” is the message being given out by Trading Standards in the run up to Bonfire Night.
Retailers stocking fireworks must be registered with the Trading Standards Service. This enables Trading Standards Officers to check that the fireworks on sale are stored correctly and meet safety standards and also advise registered retailers on how to guard against illegal sales to the under 18s.
There is a danger; however, that fireworks sold through the black economy – from private residences, street hawkers, pub sellers or car boot sales – may be unsafe and dangerous.
Councillor David Griffiths, Lead Member Health and Adult Social Care said: “Typically fireworks sold under such circumstances often have no safety or users’ guidance and can be in a poor condition. Fireworks like these could cause serious injury to anyone handling them or watching the display, so buying from car boots or unusual sources can put people’s safety at risk.
“I want people to enjoy the Bonfire Night but the need for firework safety starts with you buying them at the point of sale.”
Sales from any sources that are not fixed premises, such as trestle tables on the street, at markets or from car boots, can also fuel anti-social behaviour.
These sales as well as being illegal, provide a source for underage purchases and may not comply with safety standards which can lead to some of the nuisance and dangers attributed to the irresponsible use of fireworks.
The law prohibits the sale of fireworks to under 18s, it also bans them from possessing fireworks in a public place. Unregistered retailers offer the under 18’s a way to get round this legislation because they will not be subject to control by Trading Standards Officers.
“There is a direct link between illicit sales, especially to under 18s, and anti-social behaviour, as well as protecting young people from themselves: in recent years almost half those injured were aged 17 or under.”
If anyone has any concerns over illegal sales, use and storage of fireworks or wants information on the location of registered firework retailers in the Wrexham area please contact the Trading Standards Service on 01978 292045
There are a number of organised bonfire and firework displays that are taking place around Wrexham for bonfire night. You can have a look at our Bonfire Night 2013 page for a list of displays.