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Don’t be that Guy! Avoid a firework Fawkes-pas with latest safety advice

Published
03.11.2017

Have fun and plan ahead with latest bonfire and firework safety advice from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards.

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WATCH: Remember, remember these top five tips by GFRS

This Guy Fawkes night, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people to attend one of the many licensed firework celebrations in Gloucestershire.

Both Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards work with organisers to make sure events are held safely, and recommend leaving it to the professionals.

However, if you do decide to host your own - remember, remember to plan ahead and follow this safety advice:

  • Make sure your fireworks comply to the British Standard (BS7114 or are CE marked)
  • Only allow adults to handle fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  • Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  • Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  • Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving
  • Keep children under supervision when using sparklers
  • Prepare a bucket of sand to dispose of used sparklers

.         Never buy fireworks from unlicensed sellers

Gloucestershire County Council’s Trading Standards team is responsible for licensing all keepers of fireworks including retailers and display operators. Officers carry out visits every year to make sure that licenced businesses are storing fireworks safely and not overstocking. They also monitor social media for unlicensed firework sales.

It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone who looks under the age of 18 – the maximum penalty is an unlimited fine or 6 months imprisonment.

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said: “With licensed and safe events being held around the county, I see no reason to celebrate bonfire season elsewhere! I hope all residents stay safe and enjoy themselves, and if you do decide to host your own bonfire or fireworks, please make sure you plan ahead and follow safety advice.

“The county council’s Fire and Rescue and Trading Standards teams work together to keep residents safe when it comes to fireworks by licensing, warning and informing. You can help by spreading the word about firework safety among neighbours and friends.”

Andy Hermiston, head of trading standards and deputy chief fire officer for Gloucestershire fire and rescue service, said: “Don’t take a risk: be safe and follow the GFRS safety advice. Too many people, particularly young people, are badly injured or burnt when lighting bonfires or setting off fireworks each year.

"If you sell fireworks you must comply with the law. It is an offence to sell from a market stall or from the back of a van and if you see this happening please report it to Trading Standards via the Citizen's Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.”