Remember Remember the law on fireworks sales, says Essex County Council
GUY Fawkes Night is fast approaching, so Essex County Council Trading Standards is reminding retailers and consumers about the law regarding firework sales. Retailers must hold a valid registration to store fireworks, and they can only be sold at certain
GUY Fawkes Night is fast approaching, so Essex County Council Trading Standards is reminding retailers and consumers about the law regarding firework sales.
Retailers must hold a valid registration to store fireworks, and they can only be sold at certain times of the year, including New Year and religious festivals. If retailers wish to sell them outside of these periods they must apply for a separate licence.
It is illegal for retailers to sell fireworks to children under the age of 18. Officers from Trading Standards will be conducting test purchases at shops across the county using an underage volunteer over the next month.
Any shop that does sell a firework product to a child could be prosecuted. The maximum penalty for underage firework sales is a �5000 fine, six months imprisonment, or both.
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Shops which sell fireworks must also clearly display a sign informing customers that the minimum age for buying fireworks is 18.
Fireworks should be stored in a safe place, preferably a locked cabinet or display case. They should also be kept well away from other flammables.
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Trading Standards would advise residents to only purchase fireworks from fixed retail premises. Don't be tempted to buy from markets, boot sales and backs of vans, as they may be unsafe. All fireworks must have been tested to meet British Standards, and be marked BS 7114.
Last year Trading Standards prosecuted a man for illegally selling fireworks from a van, which was parked outside a house in Colchester. The fireworks did not meet British Standards, and were being stored in the van next to other flammable materials. He was fined �4000 and also ordered to pay �4282.13 in prosecution costs.
County councillor Tracey Chapman, cabinet member for environment and waste, said: "We want everyone to enjoy a safe and responsible Guy Fawkes Night. Retailers have a duty to sell fireworks responsibly, and not sell to children under the age of 18.
"We would also remind residents to only purchase fireworks from a reputable dealer.