Fireworks Advice info
Are your fireworks up to
Is your garden big enough?
Pets and fireworks
Are your fireworks up to standard?
Bedford Trading Standards Service is urging
fireworks retailers to act responsibly and think "safety" in
storing and selling fireworks at any time of year.
Anyone storing more than 5kg of fireworks in
the run up to 5 November or certain religious festivals such as
Diwali has to register with the Bedford Borough Council’s Trading
Standards Service. If they want to store or sell them all year
round, they have to apply for a licence from the same service.
Retailers are reminded that changes were made
to the law in 2005 relating to the hazard categorisation of
fireworks and the amount that can be kept in the sales area of a
shop. Registered and licensed traders are provided comprehensive
guidance on their responsibilities and obligations when storing and
If you are currently storing fireworks and
have not registered with your local authority you are urged to
contact them immediately.
Over the firework period, Trading Standards
Officers will be visiting fireworks retailers to ensure they have
acted on their advice are storing and selling their fireworks
There will also be random checks to make sure
retailers are not selling fireworks to under 18s. They are urged
that if in any doubt about the age of a potential customer, they
should always ask for proof of identification. Officers will also
be monitoring illegal sales at Car Boot Sales and other impromptu
Bedfordshire and Luton Chief Fire Officer Paul
Fuller, said: "Accidents can so easily happen - especially when
people are enjoying themselves. The public can access a wealth of
information on safety relating to all types of fireworks
events from Department for Business,
Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR website opens in
new window). Make sure you take a look before lighting up this
Traders face an unlimited fine or up to two
years imprisonment for breaching the storage requirements and a
£5,000 fine for selling fireworks to children.
Trading Standards Officers have also visited
some Bedford schools to speak to children about the dangers of
playing with fireworks. They are asking both children and parents
to follow the following advice to ensure their bonfire night is a
- Only buy Fireworks marked
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off
- Keep fireworks in closed boxes
- Follow the instructions on each
- Light them at arms length using a
- Stand well back
- Never go near a lit firework-even if it
doesn’t go off it could still explode
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or
- Always supervise children around
- Light Sparklers one at a time and wear
- Never give sparklers to a child under
- Keep pets indoors
- Don’t let off noisy fireworks after 11
Businesses that are only registered (as
opposed to possessing an all year round license) may only sell
fireworks during the following periods;
- October 15th - November 10th
- December 26th - December 31st
- Chinese New Year (four days before,
including the day of Chinese New Year)
- Diwali (four days before, including
No person shall use adult fireworks between
11pm and 7am, except from:
- 11pm to midnight on 5 November
- 11pm on 31 December and 1am on 1
- The first day of Chinese New Year, from
11pm to 1am the following day
- The first day of Diwali, from 11pm to 1am
the following day
If you have any further questions concerning
the sale or storage of fireworks please contact Bedford's Trading
Standards Department on 01234 718099.
Is your garden big enough?
Members of the public who are buying fireworks
could be putting themselves and others at risk if they don’t take
notice of safety distances.
The Trading Standards Service is warning
that those who don’t have big enough gardens will be playing with
fire when lighting Category 3 fireworks.
The vast majority of the fireworks being sold
are Category 3, all of which state that a spectator must be at
least 25 metres away when the firework is lit. This is a safety
concern as few people have access to that amount of private
Trading Standards Institute spokeswoman,
Christine Heemskerk, lead officer for product safety said:
“Category 3 fireworks are becoming bigger and more powerful and
many people do not realise that there is supposed to be a safety
distance of 25 metres – which is a lot further than most people
“Category 2’s safety distance is just five
metres so it’s a big jump between Categories 2 and 3.“
Because of their size and power, Category 3
fireworks also need to be properly secured. Not all fireworks have
to be part-buried but those that do need to be placed far enough
into the ground for a successful launch and to reduce the risk of
them firing across the ground and causing injuries. Some can be
placed on flat surfaces, fixed to posts etc in accordance with the
instructions printed on them.
“Regardless of how responsible the person may
be lighting the fireworks, lighting them in a small garden puts
everybody at risk” added Martin Window spokesman for trading
“We do not want to dampen anyone’s mood this
Bonfire night but it is our duty to point out the risks to those
who are putting on their own firework displays this year. The
safety distance for a Category 3 is set for one reason only - to
protect members of the public.”
The size and power of Category 3 fireworks is
becoming quite a concern. TSI are also urging retailers to warn
customers of the appropriate safety distance before the Category 3
fireworks are sold.
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Pets and fireworks
Follow these easy tips to your pets remain
relaxed and happy over the firework season.
- On the evenings you expect fireworks
ensure your pet is safe indoors and secure doors, windows and cat
- Make sure your dog or cat is microchipped.
If they do escape, frightened confused animals can easily get lost
or injured and it is important that they are easily
- Ensure dogs are taken out to toilet early
in the evening and cats are provided with a litter
- Draw curtains to reduce outside noise and
play music or have the TV turned on to help mask the noise of
- Ignore any fearful behaviour. Do not try
to comfort your pet. The animal will pick up on your anxiety and
this may make the problem worse and/or fussing a pet who appears
frightened can reward this negative behaviour.
- Don’t punish your pet either; this only
confirms that there was something to be afraid of.
- If your pet hides in a corner or under a
bed, leave it alone and do not try to coax it out. This ‘bolthole’
is where the animal feels most secure.
- Try not to go out during such potentially
upsetting events. Seeing you acting normally will help your pets
feel more settled.
- If you are still worried or if the pet
takes a long time to recover from the experience contact your vet
for further assistance or for referral for behavioural