Successful inspections carried out by trading standards officers across to the city to ensure responsible firework use from traders.
An inspection across Stoke-on-Trent took place of all fireworks licenced premises by Stoke-on-Trent City Council checking the types of fireworks being sold, and the safety of the storage and sales practices.
Results from the inspection came back in which there were six retailers who were non-compliant with risk assessments, three retailers who were non-compliant with licenses and a total of six notices were issued to retailers for a breach for not complying safely.
As the festive season approaches it important to remember to follow essential guidelines when it comes to purchasing and handling fireworks.
Watching fireworks is popular and fun, but fireworks are explosives and potentially dangerous, so they need careful handling and storage. While some retailers may still have some firework stock to clear, here are some important rules to follow:
- Only buy fireworks that are CE marked.
- It is prohibited to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18.
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
- Ensure children and pets are indoors or are at a safe distance and properly supervised.
- 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.
- Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11pm.
As part of a wider multi-partner approach to ensure the safe storage and use of fireworks across the city, the councils trading standards team known as the Licensing Authority have now visited all licensed stores based in the city alongside colleagues from the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service. This is to ensure that safe practices are carried out at all times by licensed premises that sell fireworks.
Councillor Lynn Watkins, cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “These visits identified some minor non-compliances which were addressed immediately. We would encourage our residents to purchase fireworks from a reputable supplier and to always follow the Firework Code.
“While fireworks can be a source of enjoyment and celebration, we must be diligent in ensuring that they are handled safely and responsibly. Following these safety guidelines not only protects you and your loved ones but also contributes to the well-being and safety of our community.
“The city council is committed to upholding the highest standards of safety and we encourage our residents to celebrate any festivities and motives that include the use of fireworks, to be responsible and to consider their neighbours and family pets”.
Ian Read, Head of Prevent and Protect at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Bonfire Night and the days before and after it are traditionally one of our busiest periods.
“We want the public to enjoy themselves, but we also want to highlight how important it is to be aware of the risks. We are, therefore, urging the public to attend professionally-organised displays. These are much safer with few significant injuries.
“If you do decide to celebrate at home with your own fireworks or bonfire, please plan carefully and take extra care.”
If residents have any concerns regarding fireworks they should reported to the city council’s public protection team at email@example.com and notify the police by dialling the emergency contact number: 999.