Fall in fireworks sales to children, parents urged to be vigilant

By on 02/11/2009 in News

Eagle eyed Trading Standards Officers are closely monitoring shops across the city to ensure traders are not selling fireworks to children under the age of 18, many may not be aware that even selling packets of Sparklers to under 18s is illegal. Officers working alongside West Midlands Fire Service have also been checking that all fireworks sold comply with the British Standard (BS7114).

During October, Trading Standards visited 125 shops selling fireworks to warn against selling to children and has given each shop an information pack to ensure that they fully understand their legal responsibilities.

There have been 23 undercover visits, where children have been sent into shops across the city to check that fireworks are not being sold to them. This year, only one sale took place (a failure rate of 4.3%), compared to last year, when 4 shops sold fireworks to children out of 37 premises that were visited (a failure rate of 10.8%).

Trading Standards Officers are pleased that fewer shops have been caught selling to children, but parents are being urged to play their part and be vigilant about their children's activities.

Councillor Neil Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee, said:

 “Fireworks are not toys, and in children's hands they lead not only to anti-social behaviour, they can also be lethal. Despite the success of our operation, we want parents to talk to their children about the dangers of fireworks. Children should not be near fireworks unless supervised by a responsible adult, and they should certainly not be attempting to buy them. We would also urge anyone who sees fireworks being let off in the street to report this to West Midlands Police”.

Members of the public who believe a shop is selling fireworks illegally should call Trading Standards on 0121 303 6031. Birmingham retailers are also reminded that they must be registered with West Midlands Fire Service before they can sell fireworks.

Organised fireworks displays are still the safest way to enjoy fireworks and the council has organised a free fireworks spectacular at Pype Hayes Park in Erdington on Thursday, 5th November.

ENDS

For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07920 750007 hayley.meachin@birmingham.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

The following firework rules should always be followed:

ʉۢ Only buy fireworks marked BS7114

• Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks

• Keep fireworks in a closed box

• Follow the instructions for each firework

• Light them at arms length, using a taper •

 Stand well back

• Never go near a firework once it had been lit

• 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 aged under five

• Don't let off fireworks after 11pm

Fireworks spectacular programme

Date: Thursday 5 November

Venue: Pype Hayes Park, Erdington

Admission: FREE

5pm – Gates/funfair open

7pm – Bonfire lighting

8pm – Fireworks and music

10pm – Event ends

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