Making sure shops follow fireworks code
Published Wednesday, 24 October 2012
More than 100 registered premises across South Lanarkshire have now started selling fireworks in the run-up to Bonfire Night.
And Trading Standards officers are set to embark on a test purchasing exercise before November 5th to ensure that local retailers maintain their strong stance in refusing to sell to under-18s.
This time last year 20 attempts were made by children as part of the exercise to buy fireworks - encouragingly, none was sold.
Councillor Hamish Stewart, the chair of the council's Community Services Committee, believes that ongoing education and working with stores about upholding the strict sales criteria, is paying dividends.
He added: "We were really pleased with last year's results and we are hoping for a similar outcome with this year's programme.
"However, we have no intention of becoming complacent. Our advice to retailers remains - if there is any doubt about the age of a potential customer, refuse the sale. There is no room for error."
An additional role played by Trading Standards relates to the safe storage of fireworks (explosives) - officers from Trading Standards are this year teaming up again with Strathclyde Police to visit all South Lanarkshire retailers who are registered to store and sell fireworks.
Councillor Stewart added: "We work closely with the retail trade and our communities to educate, inform and, where necessary enforce.
"The potential for anti-social behaviour, and indeed, serious injury, is huge when dangerous explosives fall into the wrong hands.
"Our campaign is about putting safety first, enabling all residents, to enjoy this time of the year without accident or incident, whether they choose to take part in the festivities or not."
There are only four times each year when registered traders can legally sell fireworks:
- November 5 - three weeks before and one week after
- New Year - December 26-31
- Chinese New Year - four days before and including the day itself - normally late January/early February
- Diwali - four days before, including the day itself - in 2012 Diwali falls on November 13
Anyone selling fireworks outside these periods must be registered and must also apply for a licence at a cost of £500 per year.