[W]ith Bonfire Night fast approaching, Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards Service is urging people across the county to “Remember remember the fifth of November” in order to keep themselves safe and enjoy the festivities.
Working closely with Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), Cumbria Trading Standards is reminding retailers to be vigilant at all times, ensure that their fireworks are being safely stored, and that they have been supplied only by reputable manufacturers.
Statistics show that more than half of those suffering firework-related injuries in the UK each year are under the age of 18, so in the run-up to Bonfire Night, underage volunteers will be working with Trading Standards, carrying out test purchases of fireworks. Enforcement officers will also be carrying out checks at retail premises across Cumbria to ensure that fireworks are being stored safely and correctly.
John Greenbank, Cumbria Trading Standards Manager, said:
“I would urge anybody buying fireworks to only purchase them from a reputable retailer to avoid being sold illegal or counterfeit products which do not meet safety standards and could cause serious injury. Retailers also need to be aware that they have a responsibility to ensure the fireworks they sell meet the required safety standards and that they are not sold to under 18s.”
Nick O’Key, a senior manager at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, added:
“People forget that fireworks are actually explosives. They burn at extremely high temperatures and can cause serious or even fatal injuries. We don’t want to spoil anybody’s fun but we don’t want nights out to turn into nights in hospital – or even worse. We’re just asking people to think about the potential dangers with fireworks and bonfires and to take the appropriate steps to keep themselves and their friends and family safe.”
The Fire Service has published a list of top tips to help your bonfire night be a safe and enjoyable experience for all:
- Keep fireworks in a closed metal box and take them out one at a time.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on each firework. Read them by torchlight – never by naked flame
- Light fireworks at arm’s length using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick.
- Stand well back after lighting.
- Never go back to a firework once lit – it may go off in your face.
- Used fireworks should be collected after the display with care. Douse with water, bury or place in a metal container.
- Keep an eye on children and your pets indoors.
- For an emergency keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Ensure bonfires are held well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs and always away from fireworks.
- Before lighting the fire, check that no pets or children are hiding inside it.
- Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side.
- Never use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire.
- Don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols, and tins of paint or bottles.
- Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children, who must be supervised all the time.
If you are concerned about young people in your area being sold fireworks illegally please contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06.