Traders make it a safer bonfire season
Businesses in East Sussex have been praised for complying with laws on the sale of fireworks to young people.In two operations carried out East Sussex County Council's Trading Standards Service, 29 visits were made to shops and other premises selling fireworks in towns across the county. And the good news is that none of the traders sold fireworks to the under-age volunteer used byT rading Standards during the operations.
The legal age to buy fireworks is eighteen, following a law which came into force in the UK last year. The investigation was carried out over two days in the two weeks before Bonfire Night. Towns visited included Newhaven, Peacehaven, Lewes,Uckfield, Hailsham, Heathfield, Polegate, Willingdon, Battle and Bexhill.
Firework regulations are designed to put the lid on anti-social behaviour by a minority of people who have caused problems in local communities.
Councillor Bob Tidy, Lead Member for Community Services at the County Council said: "Our investigations appear to show that traders arecomplying with firework regulations. The celebrations around Bonfire Night are a real joy for many people but some of our residents,especially the elderly and vulnerable can feel threatened by a minority who misbehave with fireworks and break the law.
"The other concern when people ignore firework safety advice is the number of injuries that occur. By following the law, shopkeepers and traders are helping to improve safety in our local communities, which is a top priority for this Council."
Sussex Police Inspector Alan Costello for the Seahaven area, said: "This was a good operation and I am pleased that shops and stores are taking their responsibilities seriously. I am sure that their actions in complying with the age limits for selling fireworks have gone a long way in preventing accidents and unnecessary problems to the general publicduring the firework season." All shops and other premises selling fireworks must be registered with Trading Standards. The regulations govern the safe storage of fireworks and what quantity each shop can have on site. There are also rules on when fireworks may be sold and businesses that want to sell them all year must have a special licence. Guidance for retailers, residents, teachers and display organisers canb e found online at dti.gov.uk/fireworks. Businesses that are interested in obtaining a licence to sell fireworks all year round should contactTrading Standards on Eastbourne (01323) 418200 or email:[email protected]