Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

We're working to keep you safe during firework season

1 November 2018

Trading Standards officer inspecting

The season for firework and bonfires is almost upon us, and we will be visiting retailers to ensure that you aren’t being sold dangerous fireworks.

Officers from our Public Protection team will be inspecting retailers selling fireworks to ensure that the fireworks they are selling are safe and conform to relevant safety standards, and that the retailers are behaving responsibly and complying with the law. Retailers will be reminded of the age restrictions that apply to the sale of fireworks: those under the age of 18 are not allowed to buy fireworks or handle them in a public place. We will also check that the retailer has the required registration or licence to legally store and sell fireworks.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, our Executive Member for Community Services, said: "Fireworks can be great fun for all the entire family, but they are explosives and have the potential to be very dangerous. They need careful handling and storage at all times. Every year there are accidents caused by improper use of fireworks and carelessness. Figures show that more children than adults get hurt by fireworks, which is why fireworks are restricted by age.

"The safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display. However, if you do buy your own, fireworks should only be purchased from reputable suppliers. We would advise the public never to buy fireworks from markets, car boot sales or street sellers. Fireworks bought from these sources could be defective and are unlikely to meet UK safety requirements. They could put you and your family at serious risk of injury."

To ensure that your fireworks come from a reputable dealer, make sure that they are marked with CE. Because of their safety hazard, using or buying fireworks illegally can result in a £5,000 fine or imprisonment. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

If you have any concerns that any fireworks being sold are unsafe or that they are being sold illegally, please contact our Trading Standards team in confidence on 0300 300 8136, or email: trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Use our guide on how to use fireworks to have an enjoyable and safe bonfire night:

  • only buy fireworks from a reputable dealer and ensure all fireworks are CE marked
  • do not drink alcohol if handling fireworks
  • keep fireworks in a closed box
  • follow the instructions on each firework
  • light at arm's length using a taper and stand well back from a lit firework
  • never go near a firework that has been lit and failed to go off; it could still explode
  • never put fireworks into your pocket or throw them
  • always supervise children and under 18s around fireworks
  • light sparklers one at a time, wear gloves and never give sparklers to under 5s: they burn at temperatures equivalent to a welding torch (according to RoSPA (link opens in new window))
  • keep pets indoors
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