Injuries caused by fireworks have fallen. But Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is warning consumers not to be complacent about the dangers posed by fireworks. Fireworks are explosives, so treat them with respect!
Mark Ryder, Head of Warwickshire Trading Standards, the body responsible for enforcing legislation controlling the sale and safety of fireworks in the County, said:
“The number of people injured in firework related accidents over the Bonfire Night period in Great Britain fell to 990 in 2005, down from 1160 in 2004.
However, far too many people are still being injured because fireworks are misused. We want everyone to have an enjoyable and safe bonfire night, which is why we are calling on adults to follow the Firework Code, and ensure their children do too.”
Those arranging to attend family or private firework parties are warned to be particularly vigilant as almost 50% of all firework injuries occurred at these sorts of events.
In Warwickshire in 2005, according to Department of Trade and Industry figures, the three NHS Trusts covering the County reported a total of 15 firework related injuries (University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust reported 10, South Warwickshire General Hospitals NHS Trust reported five and the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust did not report any figures).
Trading Standards Officers are warning consumers not to buy fireworks from open air markets, car boot sales and other public places. It is both illegal and very dangerous to sell fireworks in a public place where a stray cigarette, or lighted match, could easily cause an explosion. Retailers are warned that they face prosecution if they are found to be selling fireworks illegally.
Warwickshire Trading Standards will be monitoring markets and car boots in the run up to Bonfire Night. It is an offence to sell fireworks in a public place and those prosecuted may face a fine of up to £5000.
Sparklers, a favourite with children, cause many injuries each year and parents are advised to follow sparkler instructions and not give them to children under the age of five. Parents need also to remember that a sparkler burns at five times the heat of a bonfire barbecue and are therefore advised to supervise closely any child using one. Children should wear gloves when holding sparklers and used sparklers should be disposed of in a bucket of cold water.
Children are also invited to take part in our annual firework poster safety competition. Visit http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards for more information.
Trading Standards Officers will be visiting all the retailers registered to sell fireworks in Warwickshire to ensure that they are clear about the law. Retailers found to be breaking the law could face prosecution.
Retailers are also reminded that the age at which fireworks can be purchased is 18.
Before they explode read the firework code!
1) Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
2) Never give sparklers to a child under 5
3) Buy fireworks marked BS 7114
4) Keep fireworks in a closed box
5) Follow the instructions on each firework
6) Light them at arm’s length using a taper
7) Stand well back
8) Never go back to a lit firework
9) Never put fireworks in your pocket
10) Never throw fireworks
11) Keep pets indoors
For further information on Firework Safety visit:
The Trading Standards Service has the duty to enforce legislation controlling the sale and safety of fireworks. It also registers retailers who store and sell fireworks.
Statistics sourced from the Department of Trade and Industry.