Firefighters and Trading Standards Officers in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes are keen to help raise awareness of the part local retailers have to play in ensuring people can enjoy fireworks safely and responsibly this year.
With Covid-19 control measures in place, and a significant amount of public firework displays being cancelled, it could mean that more people decide to commemorate 5 November at home.
Be safe when buying
Head of Protection, Group Commander Phill Mould said: “If you are considering buying “home use” fireworks it is important to be safe, responsible and considerate.
“We would encourage you to let your neighbours know that you intend to use fireworks and respect the curfew times (more details on this can be found in our Safety Advice Hub) as well as all local COVID-19 control measures (check the Buckinghamshire Council and Milton Keynes Council websites for this).
“However, being safe and responsible doesn’t just relate to setting fireworks off. It is also an important factor when considering where to purchase your rockets and sparklers from.
“Retailers have an important role in ensuring fireworks can be enjoyed safely and responsibly. So if you are selling fireworks this year, please remember your responsibilities for keeping your customers, and your staff, safe.”
Be safe when selling
Anyone responsible for a location that is selling fireworks, has a duty to take general fire precautions to ensure the safety of their employees and visitors to their site. This includes undertaking a fire risk assessment which is regularly reviewed. If necessary fire precautions aren’t undertaken, the fire and rescue service can investigate and where appropriate take enforcement action, ranging from informal notices to prosecuting in a court of law.
In order to be able to sell fireworks a stockist must have a current licence to store fireworks.
The fireworks must:
- Be stored safely (guidance is available on the HSE website).
- Display the CE mark.
- Have instructions for use in English.
- Not be sold to anyone under the age of 18.
David Pickering, Team Manager at Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, said: “At certain times of the year, including from Thursday 15 October to Tuesday 10 November, shops can sell fireworks without needing a Sales Licence. However, they will still need a Storage Licence.
“If a shop is planning to store or sell fireworks outside of the permitted date ranges, they will need to get a Sales Licence from us. You can do this by emailing email@example.com if your business is based in Buckinghamshire, or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are based in Milton Keynes.
“Shops also need to ensure that only CE marked fireworks are being sold as all other fireworks are illegal.
“It is also illegal to sell category F2 or F3 fireworks to anyone under the age of 18, and for anyone under the age of 18 to possess F2 or F3 category fireworks in a public place.
“Any breaches of the laws will result in investigation and fine, and you will potentially lose your licence to trade.”
- Applying for a licence to sell fireworks in Buckinghamshire: surreycc.gov.uk/business-and-consumers/business-information/licences-permits-and-consents/applying-for-a-licence-or-registration-for-fireworks
- Applying for a licence to sell fireworks in Milton Keynes: milton-keynes.gov.uk/environmental-health-and-trading-standards/licensing/event-public-safety/application-for-explosives-licence-registration
- A guide to the sale of fireworks, including licensing, categories of fireworks and age restriction: businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/underage-sales/fireworks
- Storing and selling fireworks safely – Advice from the HSE for anyone selling fireworks: hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg407.htm
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2015: legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/introduction/made
- Information relating to COVID-19 control measures in Buckinghamshire: buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Information relating to COVID-19 control Measures in Milton Keynes: milton-keynes.gov.uk/your-council-and-elections/covid-19-in-milton-keynes/local-outbreak-plan